Is Sugar as bad for kids as it is for adults?

Let's face it. Eliminating sugar is impossible!! Most, if not all of us, love sweets.

According to Prof Juliana Cohen of Harvard Health, “even during infancy, new-borns have an innate preference for breast milk because of its sweetness.” So humans may be born with an inherent desire for sugary foods that fades with age and eating experience!!! Wow. did we know that??

The fade is a good thing though as many studies have time and again linked heart-diseasestype 2 diabetes and other ailments with consumption of sugar. So, here are a few things one should know, especially when it comes to your children.

  1. Children under 2 years of age should have no added sugar at all.
  2. How is sugar harmful to kids? - Cohen’s research has found that toddlers who drink beverages sweetened with added sugar, as well as children born to mothers who drank these beverages while pregnant, tend to score worse on childhood intelligence and aptitude tests.
  3. A form of sugarHigh Fructose Corn Syrup (mostly present as HFCS in food labels), may be especially harmful. “It appears that HFCS may be impacting hippocampal function during important periods of development,” says Cohen. The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory formation.
  4. More research [] has found that, as a child’s added-sugar intake rises, so does that child’s risk for hypertension, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.
  5. Use natural sweetener alternatives to refined sugar. While their glycemic index is similar to sugar, they come with natural minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  6. Limit, if you cannot avoid processed or packaged foods. 
  7. But if you are going to do just one thing, you should encourage your children to drink milk rather than the sugary beverages that are the greatest source of added sugar in the average child’s diet.

[source : Time Magazine, Harvard Health]


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