This Generation’s Tobacco: Sugar

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The sweetest and saddest mistakes we make in life often pertain to good intentions combined with not knowing any better. In reality, a majority of parents would pass a lie detector test if they claimed that they would do anything for their child, even die. This is what makes it so unbelievably sad when we see parents who want to give everything to their child, but just don’t know how to do it the right way.

The first mistake we see parents make has to do with poor food choices. Parents often find themselves in this whirlwind of having a crying child who will only quiet down when they are fed with sweets or carbs.

If the parent caves into quieting a child with food, the child quickly become accustomed to being fed sugar or food to calm their nerves. The physical and mental associations formed at this point are outstanding and unfortunate. Once the sugar wears off withinin the child’s system, the tantrums begin again and parents who want to immediately calm down their child will just slip them another toxic food item. The cycle is vicious, never-ending, and worst of all a pre-cursor to full-life sugar/food addiction for the child.

What we need to understand as adults in America, is that we live in one of the most obese countries in the world. We are not perfect and just because something is on the shelves of supermarkets, doesn’t mean it is healthy or okay to feed to a child. Sugar addiction can form within any human, but because a child is so untainted by any substance (and they’re so much smaller than us!) makes it extremely easy for them to form a very strong sugar dependency/addiction which becomes extremely hard to get over.

Physically, a child’s body becomes dependent on the sugar which is why they don’t “feel right” if they haven’t had their sugar fix. Mentally, because they are so used to crying or throwing tantrums until they are given sugar, they form an association with the feeling of calm and safety to sugar. This is the subconscious monster which can ruin a teenage/adult life. Even if at the older ages they understand the addiction, there is something rooted deep inside of them which associates sugar and food with safety and comfort.

The best thing you can do as a parent is be aware of the toll that the drug, sugar, can take on your child. Try your hardest to educate yourself on how to raise a healthy happy family. One of the biggest common misconceptions is that healthy food is so much more expensive than unhealthy food. Compare prices of a bag of potato chips and a head of broccoli… you do the math! Then compare calories, sugars, and fats and see which one is really the most costly to you.

I’m just a gal studying nutrition, but to back up the above information, I just want to mention that government officials have been having an ongoing debate on considering a sugar tax. “We tax tobacco and we tax alcohol. We decided as a society that those things are causing enough problems that a tax was justified. Are we at that point with sugared beverages?”-Kelly Browne, Director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

To answer Kelly’s question, many health conscious individuals think so, including Barry Popkin, PhD, author of The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products that are Fattening the Human Race. He claims, “A tax will reduce energy intake for all age groups, and will produce reductions in weight and the risk of diabetes. Every scholar in the world knows this except a few funded by the sugar industry.”

So it’s up to you, Mom and Dad!


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