I remember as a child, whenever my younger sister would eat any form of sugar, she would bounce of the walls for hours followed by an epic, irritable crash. But as much as a sugar fiend she was, nothing compared to my obsession with all things sweet. Sour Powers, donuts, grape and strawberry sodas — I was hooked and this was the 90’s
Today, children are still finding ways to convince their parents to give them their sugar fix. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percent of calories children consumed from added sugar was upwards towards sixteen percent for boys and 15.5 percent for girls.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting intake of discretionary calories, including added sugars and solid fats, to a total of 5 percent to 15 percent daily.
“The amount of sugar consumed is still extraordinarily high,” Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told WebMD. “The amount is still so far over what any rational physician, dietitian, or government agency would have us be eating.”
Where are all these added sugars coming from? The report said 59 percent of added-sugar calories come from foods and 41 percent from beverages, but soft drinks are still the single biggest source of added sugar. What’s more, the report found most added sugar calories were consumed at home, not at schools which are often the target of nutritional legislation.
The New York Times ran a story that detailed the growing prevalence of young children showing up to dentist office with a mouthful of cavities. Consequently, dentist have to start administering a general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake.
Dentists offer a number of reasons so many preschoolers suffer from such extensive dental decay. Though they are not necessarily new, they have combined to create a growing problem: endless snacking and juice or other sweet drinks at bedtime, parents who choose bottled water over tap water, and the decrease in infant dentist visits.
Parents have to steer clear of providing children with access to sugary foods and drinks. For example, I found ways to sneak small items into the grocery cart whenever my mother went shopping for a lot of food at one time. And I would steal change out of her pocketbook just to have something for ice cream truck. I know I was far and above more out of control than your kids are now but watch out for the small ways the food industry adds sugar to your child’s diet.
Here is Environmental Working Group’s list of the Top 10 sugar-laden breakfast cereals:
- Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 55.6%
- Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 44.4%
- Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
- Kellogg’s Smorz 43.3%
- Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 42.9%
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries 42.3%
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original 41.4