Toxic Effects Of Sugar On Kids: Expert Suggests Tips To Control Its Intake

Sugar can cause weight gain. You must avoid sugary drinks, such as canned juices and sodas.

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Mar 10, 2023 16:05 IST
Toxic Effects Of Sugar On Kids: Expert Suggests Tips To Control Its Intake

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It’s always a difficult task for parents to say ‘no’ to their kids when they demand candy or sweets. Parents need to know that sugar is not just limited to cake or candies but it is there in a variety of processed food that kids are big fans of. Some foods and drinks contain sugar naturally, but added sugars — which go by many names, are introduced during the processing or preparation of the food. When a child’s stomach gets filled with sugar, there is very little room left for other nutrition that is required for their growing body’s needs, such as vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains. In an interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Dr Anil Bhoraskar, Senior Diabetologist-SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim & Secretary-Diabetic Association of India (Scientific Section), explained why sugar is toxic for kids.

How Sugar Is Toxic For Kids

Sugar, if given in small amounts, is not harmful to kids, but the excess of it can lead to obesity, weight gain, and acne, and they will be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It can also increase the risk of several other medical conditions impacting overall development. There are many reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your child’s health.

Sugar can cause weight gain. Sugary drinks, such as canned juices and sodas, are high in fructose, a kind of simple sugar.

Studies conducted on animals show that consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food. Excess fructose consumption has been demonstrated to develop leptin resistance. Leptin is an important hormone that regulates hunger and indicates your body when to stop eating.

Also read: Artificial Sweetener May Cause Anxiety, Reveals Study

A child who drinks a lot of sugar through sweetened beverages gains an increased amount of visceral fat, which is associated with a fat belly and certain conditions like diabetes and heart disease. There is further evidence which suggests that high sugar and diabetes can lead to inflammation as well as high triglycerides and increased blood pressure.

Excess Sugar Can Cause Depression

If your kid is consuming a diet high in added sugar and processed foods then it may lead to mood and emotional abnormalities as well as raise the risk of getting depression. 

A study conducted on 8,000 adults found that people who consumed more than 67 grams of sugar per day have 23% more chances of developing depression. Also, those who consume more sugar may develop Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (fatty liver). Eating an excessive amount of sugar may increase the chances of certain types of cancers too. Eating too much sugar can cause cavities in the teeth of kids, and most importantly, high sugar can lead to an increased risk of dementia (impaired memory). 

Also read: Myths and Facts About The Sugar-Free Sweets

How To Control Sugar Intake

So, these are bitter facts about sugar! While dealing with food served to kids, their parents need to be extra careful and must watch what their kids are eating outside their houses, particularly when they are in their schools and with their friends. Limit the intake of processed food, and instead go for fresh & homemade food. Read the content chart and other details (found on the back of the packaging) while serving any kind of packed food to your kids.

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