It might not be illegal. In fact, sugar is often considered harmless for kids, but there are some serious sugar dangers, some of which deem sugar to be more dangerous than cocaine! In comparison to most drugs. Sugar isn’t the devil, but in excess, it can cause a lot of health problems for adults and kids alike.
The average South African consumes between 12 and 24 teaspoons of sugar per day. To put that into perspective, that number was just 4 teaspoons in the 1900s.
At least half of the sugar our kids consume is hidden in soft drinks, fruit juices, an sports drinks. The rest creeps into their diets in the form of ketchup, chocolate milk and obvious sweets like cookies ice cream and breakfast cereals. Even some “healthy foods” like yoghurt and instant oatmeal can pack up to 7 teaspoons of unnecessary added sugar!
What are sugar dangers all parents need to be aware of?
It decreases the immune system
Type 2 diabetes and obesity are obvious results of a sugar overdose but the sugar dangers can be a lot more insidious. Sugar suppresses the immune system for several hours after consumption, making them more likely to get sick.
And increases dental cavities
The bacteria in your mouth feed off sugar and transform it into acids that cause dental decay. The more sugar, the more likely your kid is to develop cavities. Do you really want to spend your money on preventable dental work?
Sugar increases inflammation
Inflammation is the route of most health problems our society faces today. And on a more serious note, this is one of the biggest sugar dangers. Sugar consumption and the resultant brain inflammation has been linked to worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety, which goes way beyond just the sniffles and chronic conditions.
It makes learning much harder
The consumption of sugar has been linked to a reduction in cognitive function, memory, and learning capacity. Brain fog is a common result of inflammation caused by sugar intake.
And yes, it greatly increases the risk of childhood obesity
With all those empty calories, sugar also switches off the fullness sensation that your body naturally produces whenever it consumes food. Then there’s the fact that sugar is HIGHLY addictive, making it a perfect storm for unhealthy weight gain and also makes sugar the leading cause of childhood obesity. Along with weight issues, you’ll also have to see your kid come with other issues like low self-esteem and decreased athletic performance.