Facts about sugar and obesity in children

Facts about sugar and obesity in children. Childhood obesity is on the rise. According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) survey, nearly a third of American children can be described as overweight - up nearly 20 percent from a study a decade ago. Fortunately, there are many parents who can do it so that their child is not overweight.

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While many people associate sweetness with table sugar, called sucrose, this is just one type of sugar that gives this flavor. There is also sugar in fruits, called fructose, and many foods contain added sugars such as corn syrup, honey, and high fructose corn syrup. All sugars are carbohydrates that contain four calories per gram and after digestion, they travel through the bloodstream where they are used as fuel for the body.

Sugar replacements, also called low-calorie sweeteners, supply flavors but add little or no calories.


Limiting the intake of sugary foods, which often contribute some nutrients to the diet, could be a positive step in reducing the number of overweight Americans. Many health experts recommend using sugar substitutes such as aspartame to replace the sweetness of some of your child's favorite foods. Before being approved by the FDA, sweeteners undergo extensive safety testing to ensure they are safe for consumption by children and pregnant women. According to the American Dietetic Association, children can safely consume aspartame as part of a diet consistent with the Food Guide Pyramid.

Snacks are an important part of children's food, providing energy and nutrients.


"The challenge is to keep kids from eating more high-sugar foods and more on nutritious snack foods from the Food Guide Pyramid," said Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian from the American Dietetic Association and nutritionist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at New York City. She recommends snacking "sweet" for low-fat and sugar-free yogurt, fresh fruit, raisins and other dried fruits, 100 percent fruit snacks, sugar-free gelatin, fruit juices appearing with low-sugar juice and sugar-free taste. water.

Nutritionists agree that sugary foods can be part of a healthy diet. The key is moderation-to ensure that sugary foods do not reduce nutrient-dense foods. Sugar substitutes have the potential to be an effective weight management tool when used in conjunction with physical activity and healthy food choices.

Althea Zanecosky is a registered nutritionist, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and a mother of two daughters.

Sweet foods with sugar substitutes provide a healthy alternative for children.

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