Just 10 days of replacing sugar-packed foods with those of equal caloric value led to dramatic changes in children’s health, a new study found. Pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig and a team at the University of California at San Francisco discovered that simple shifts make a difference, as Healthy Child Healthy World reported.
The research team replaced sugar with starch in the diets of more than 40 overweight tween and teenaged kids–swapping out pastries for potato chips, for example–to reduce their daily intake of sugar from 27% to 10%. After 10 days, the subjects’ bad cholesterol levels, blood pressure and triglycerides levels had all dropped significantly, while blood sugar and insulin levels had improved.
Despite the World Health Organization’s recommendation that people consume no more than 10% of calories each day from sugar, most Americans consume 16%, about a third of which come from soda and sports drinks. The problem is, sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup are proven to be addictive. And that addiction is just too compelling for kids.
As a parent, what can you do? From infancy, my husband and I have served our children water. I wouldn’t say their diets are perfect, but I think that it’s helped them to understand that sugar–especially sugary drinks–is reserved for special occasions.
What do you do to help your children control sugar cravings? Please tell me about it, in comments below. Thanks!