20 Reasons Sugar Is Bad For Children

The world sure does LOVE sugar.

Look closely and you’ll find it in just about everything…

The average jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce has more sugar than a box of poptarts, and while you may be aware that your breakfast cereal is full of the sweet stuff, most people are surprised to discover that so, too, is the milk we pour into it (one serving of organic whole milk averages 11 grams of sugar).

That’s almost 3 teaspoons of sugar, dumped right into your kid’s glass of milk (4 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar)!

This troubling topic is the focus of the latest food documentary, Fed Up, in which Katie Couric digs deep into the obesity epidemic, and discovers a surprising culprit…

Sugar – not fat – is making us fat.

Whether this shocking information is new to you, or you’re well versed in the sugar epidemic our society seems to be facing…

It’s time for us to take a long, hard look at the flood of sugar that’s sneaking its way into our bodies through just about everything we put in our mouths. 

And while the information in this article can lead to frightening realizations, it is meant to empower you to bring consciousness and control to what you feed yourself – and your kids.

Remember, YOU have the power to transform your child’s eating habits and help them develop healthy behaviors to last a lifetime.

No one else is going to do it for them.  Not their friends, not their schools, and certainly not their grandparents (that’s simply not their job! :).

It’s up to YOU to be the change.  And it all starts in your own kitchen.

Of course, many of us don’t have the desire to eliminate sweets altogether and never look back (though more power to you if you have this kind of discipline).

It can be argued that sweet treats have become a vital part of youth… the first quaint and cliché image that comes to mind is that of a young child saving their pocket change to run to the corner market and buy a bar of chocolate, a pack of bubblegum, or a bottle of soda.  The joy of sweet, sugary goodness is embedded deeply within the very culture of childhood, whether we like it or not.

So do we really want to steal candy from our babies?

Regardless of where you fall on the sugar spectrum, take a look at the following 20 reasons, and ask yourself… might it be time to cut back – even a little – on your family’s sugar consumption?

Share your thoughts with us by commenting below!

1.  Sugar is addictive

Researchers have discovered cocaine-addicted mice actually preferred sugar-water as a reward over cocaine. The intense euphoria we get from sugar consumption drives us to reach for it often and obsessively.

2.Sugar makes us fat

An abundance of sugar puts the liver into overdrive — it works frantically to re-balance your system — quickly storing sugar as fat so your blood sugar and insulin rates can stabilize. By not consuming sugar often, your body will brilliantly balance itself out. By eating sugar every day, at every meal, your body over time will end up with an excess of belly fat (yuck).

3.Sugar prevents you from making healthy food choices

You already know about sugar crashes (we have all seen them in our kids!), but there may be another reason sugar is making you tired. A recent study by the CDC discovered that an increased consumption of added sugars has been linked to a decrease in intake of essential micronutrients. In other words, when you fill up on sugar, you’re less likely to eat the nutrients your body really needs, causing your body to shut down.

4.Sugar is shortening human life-span

Professor Andrew Prentice revealed a staggering truth to a group assembled at the British Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting — the rise in childhood obesity means that, for the first time ever, there is a generation of children that may be outlived by their parents. Modern diets laced with sugars aren’t just making us fat, they’re making our kids fat and sick for life.

5.Sugar keeps you hungry

Sugars — especially in the forms of liquids like sodas — don’t satiate. Suck them down and you’re not just consuming empty calories, you’re inviting constant hunger into your life. Your body simply isn’t getting the nourishment it needs, and it’s working overtime to counter the imbalance. Our society has become simultaneously fat and starving.

6.Sugar feeds cancer

Scientists have long noted sugar molecules are present in high numbers near cancer cells. A 2013 study by the University of Copenhagen shows that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant cells… they cause the cancer cells naturally present (but dormant) in our bodies to grow, and cancer to spread more aggressively.

7.Sugar almost always accompanies other toxic ingredients

Sugar is often consumed in pre-packaged foods — many of which are made with additives, preservatives, and toxic food colorings, some of which have been banned outside of the United States.

8.Sugar is making (and keeping) you sick

Sugar may be making illness more common in your life, and the lives of those you love. Sugar has been linked to immune system suppression, causing your body to get common sicknesses more often. Pay even a little bit of attention to the way your body reacts to sugary treats while you’re sick and you’ll see how quickly it can lead to breakdown.

9.Sugar is costing us big money

The U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion yearly fighting the effects of excess sugar consumption. With sugar linked directly to coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, health care costs related to sugar are exorbitant.

10.Sugar causes cravings

Sugar intake spikes your blood sugar, so your body quickly works to re-balance itself. Insulin is released, and the liver starts storing the sugar as fat. All this work from your body lowers your blood sugar, and as your blood sugar dips, you get hungry (usually craving more energy, in the form of sugar!). So, you eat again, and get stuck in a vicious hunger cycle fueled by sugar cravings.

11.Sugar is sneaky

Sugar is listed on food labels under many names. Though the back of a granola bar may not list ‘sugar’ as an ingredient, your body responds the same way to sugar in all its forms. Here’s a quick list of the many names sugar can hide under, via Harvard School of Public Health: Agave nectar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, sucrose, and syrup.

It’s also crucially important to remember that artificial sweeteners are even more dangerous than sugar itself, and have been proven to be highly carcinogenic and toxic.  This includes but is not limited to aspartame, sucralose, xylitol, sorbitol, and polydextrose.

12.  You’re probably eating WAY too much

4 grams of sugar is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar. A female body can healthily metabolize a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day (that’s 24 grams total), whereas a male body can metabolize 9 teaspoons per day (36 grams).  A child can only metabolize 3 teaspoons per day (12 grams of sugar).  You’ll find double that amount in just one small carton of store-brand yogurt.  Yikes.

13.Sugar is ruining your teeth

Nearly 100 years ago, a dentist named Weston A. Price was shocked by the rise in childhood cavities, and the growing demand for orthodontic braces. Wondering about the link between diet and tooth health, he quit his practice and traveled around the world with his wife, visiting tribes far removed from agricultural advancements and industrialized society and discovered nearly nonexistent levels of decay — even among groups of people not brushing their teeth.

Since then, multiple studies have linked tooth health to sugar consumption. Bacteria in the mouth feeds off of sugar, and increases the likelihood of cavities.

14.Sugar causes withdrawals

Sugar encourages the body to release opioids and dopamine. It has a very real effect on your body chemistry (just like other drugs you’d probably never even consider taking). Your body grows addicted to this response, so it wants more. And more. And when the chemical lending the effects is taken away, it goes into withdrawal. It’s not uncommon to experience headaches, fatigue, mood swings, intense cravings, and other detox effects as you come off sugar.

15.Sugar gives you mood swings and energy dips

Mood and energy swings can be related to a lot of things, but sugar is among the common culprits. Insulin is a hormone, and when this hormone is secreted into the body to ward off excess sugar consumption, it can affect the other hormones in your body. Blood sugar-related swings can also contribute to adrenal fatigue, making your mood rollercoaster as your body tries to balance itself.

16.We celebrate with sugar

Think about how many holidays we have devoted to sugar… Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas all revolve around sugar-laced foods filling our homes. And we often use it as a form of reward.  A recent study by the CDC found we’re consuming more sugar in our homes than we are away from our homes. Our personal sanctuaries and traditions have become celebrations of sugar!

17.Sugar ages your skin

A 2011 study funded by Unilever found a connection between blood sugar levels and healthy, youthful skin. So if you’re determined to avoid wrinkles, breakouts, and bad skin days, you should consider cutting the sugar, and you might just cut years off your appearance.

18.Sugar ages your brain

High blood sugar has been linked to memory loss and cognitive decline, in a study released by the American Academy of Neurology. In layman’s terms, sugar consumption can lead to a domino effect in the body, which can prematurely age the brain.

19.Sugar causes inflammation

Processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches increase levels of cytokines, which causes inflammation, pain, overheating, redness and swelling.

While inflammation can be an important part of the body’s healing process, chronic inflammation is at the root of many deadly diseases. The great news is that we can completely heal and prevent chronic inflammation with the right eating plan, which begins with ditching the sugar.

20.Sugar contains NO nutritional value.

You don’t need sugar. It contains no nutritional value, nutrients, or minerals. Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  It contains only calories and health-threatening side effects.  No matter how many ads you see for ‘healthy’ electrolyte drinks, fruit juices, or protein bars, the added sugar in these products are entirely unnecessary to our human diets.

Facebook Comments