Rethink Your Kid’s Drink

Summary

  • Consumption of sugary drinks is the #1 cause of kids being overweight or obese
  • American kids consume 34 teaspoons of sugar per day with most of that sugar intake coming from sugary drinks. 
  • One can of soda a day can increase risk of diabetes by 32% and obesity by 60% in kids
  • The average American kid consumes about 400 calories from sugary drinks per day
  • “Healthy” juices and sports drinks are also laden with sugar

     Sugar, honey, and sweetie are cute nicknames for your loved ones, but when it comes to kids consuming sugary drinks, there is nothing cute about it.  The average American kid has on average 34 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is equal to 136 grams (4g of sugar = 1 teaspoon) of sugar entering the body daily for people aged 2-19.  A large portion of that enormous sugar intake comes from sugary beverages.  One and three kids are overweight or obese and soda, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, has been one of the very few things proven to cause obesity.  In fact, the consumption of sugary drinks is the number one cause of obesity in kids! 

     Being obese not only raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, or both, but is also detrimental to brain and mental health.  Depression, bipolar disorder, addictions, and agoraphobia (the fear of going out) are more common in obese children.  One can of soda a day can increase your risk of diabetes by 32% and obesity by 60%, Hyman mentions.  The frightening thing is that nearly two thirds of children have one sugary drink a day and one third have two per day expressed by Jacqueline Howard in a CNN health article.  

     The Average American kid consumes around 400 calories a day from sugary drinks.  That is equivalent to an entire meal for a young child.  Sugary drinks do not only stop at sodas.  Massive amounts of sugar can be found in drinks labeled “healthy” such as fruit juice, sports drinks, and flavored milk.  Doctor Chad Hayes calls fruit juice soda’s evil twin as many parents and kids are duped to believe they are drinking a healthy beverage.  I mean it says 100% real fruit on the label, so it must be healthy?  Not quite.  He goes on to say that “it would be better for kids to eat four ounces of ice cream and a Flintstone vitamin than to drink four ounces of juice.”  That is definitely not a recommendation, but an eye-opening statement.  

     Take a look at the whopping amounts of sugar in the drinks in the graph below.  All drinks in the graph were adjusted to 12 ounces, but many drinks typically come in larger portions, which means even more sugar.  I want to reiterate that 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.  A drink with 20 grams of sugar is equivalent to 5 teaspoons of sugar.

     As Dr. Joseph Mercola puts it, “the elimination of sugary drinks is one of the most crucial factors to deal with many of the health problems children suffer from.”  It comes down to there being one solution that can solve the massive amounts of sugar consumption from sugary drinks.  STOP!  Stop drinking sodas.  Stop drinking juices.  And stop drinking other sugar laden beverages.  Imagine what could be if children replaced 400 daily calories from sugary drinks with something of nutritional value.

To Más Health, 

Michael

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