Kids & Sugar: The Potential Downsides of the Cupcake Diet
|April 10, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Sugar|
Kids and sugar—they practically go hand in hand. Children love sweets, and who can blame them? But unfortunately, cupcakes, candy, ice cream, soda and juice aren’t just occasional treats anymore; they’re almost ubiquitous wherever you go, from doctors’ offices to sports practice to school parties. And while we certainly don’t want to be too restrictive, there’s evidence that all that sugary stuff could be doing serious damage, and not just to their teeth.
BUZZ KILL ALERT! Recently on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported on new research showing that our super-sweetened diets may be putting us (and our kids!) at risk for major health issues, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Because cancer cells feed on sugar, it also may lead to the faster growth of tumors. Watch the 14-minute segment—the argument is powerful.
In a follow-up interview (“Sugar and Kids: The Toxic Truth”), Dr. Gupta (a father of three) is asked to explain how to apply the lessons to family life. His main suggestion is to try to eat more “real food” (or unprocessed “stuff that doesn’t come from a box”) at home. He also tries to teach his own kids about what he thinks is good for them without scaring them (in other words, don’t call sugar a “poisin” or “toxin”). Love ‘ya, Sanjay, but we more help than that!
Anyway, back to the school issue. Some schools, like my friend Sally’s in Columbus, Ohio, have addressed the sugar problem by having foodless birthday celebrations (still fun for the kids!). Others have “collaborative” parties—in which all the children with a birthday in a given month celebrate together on the same day. Still others party it up with non-sugary snacks like fresh popcorn and guac with multigrain chips.
Got fresh ideas for ways to cut back on the sugar consumption at school? Let’s hear them! Please leave your comments down below.
MORE STORIES THAT MAY PIQUE YOUR INTEREST:
- Healthy school parties: 18 fun cupcake alternatives (plus, ways to celebrate without food!)
- Can I have cotton candy?!?: Tips for handling all those junk food requests
- Why are kids gaining weight? an alternate theory (and why improving school food is crucial to preventing it!)