“Too much sugar does not just make us fat; it can also make us sick.” That’s the message of a recent medical journal article saying that sugar is more than just “empty calories”; overconsumption by itself can lead to higher risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes and liver disease.
The article suggests that fewer than 15% of daily calories should be consumed as added sugar (meaning sugars that are added to foods during processing or manufacturing). There were some very disturbing numbers reported in the article about the disproportionately high rate of sugar consumption among Blacks. The article reports that a survey conducted between 2005-2010 found that nearly 17% of Blacks (compared to 9% of whites) were heavy consumers of added sugar, that is, they consumed more than 25% of their daily calories from added sugar!
According to the article, the truth about sugar-sweetened drinks is that they are some of the biggest sources of added sugar. Even drinking one 12-ounce can of soda daily increases the risk of chronic disease by one-third!
All this just underscores the importance of monitoring your child’s (and your) intake of sodas and other sugary beverages. We must change our children’s taste buds so that they are not craving sodas and will make better choices (like water) instead.
One tip Beccastone has found that may help you and your child to drink more water is to buy a pitcher with an “infuser”, which is an empty tube with holes that is attached to the top of the pitcher. You can fill the infuser with fruit or vegetables like fresh raspberries, cucumber and oranges, just to name a few, and the flavor will seep into the water within hours and change its flavor. You can even add some herbs like mint or rosemary to add some additional flavors.
So talk with your child about drinking more water; it could mean a longer life.