You may of heard this summer that popular supermarket chain Tesco will be removing all added-sugar soft drinks from their shelves, due to concerns over child obesity. Lunchbox sized cartons of blackcurrant flavour drinks and orange flavoured drinks will no longer be available on the shelves at Tesco due to high levels of artificial sugars.
Jamie Oliver has recently launched a campaign to put tax on sugary drinks in the UK. Support Jamie and his mission to take action against the role sugar is playing in rising global health problems here.
With so much concern over sugar- sweetened drinks and the health scares leading to childhood obesity, here at Stur Drinks UK we have decided to unveil the truth about sugared drinks and why your children should stick to sugar-free, natural alternatives.
Sugar sweetened drinks contain lots of calories and no nutritional value; this is referred to as empty calories. A small carton of a certain blackcurrant flavour drink contains 164 calories and a 200ml carton of a certain orange flavoured drink contains up to 214 calories. If your child is drinking sugared drinks regularly they could be adding an additional 130,000 calories to their diet a year. According to nyc.gov these calories contain no beneficial nutrition that will aid in your kids development.
If you are giving your child fizzy drinks or drinks high in sugar, this can make them feel full from the high number of empty calories. This means your children may have no appetite at mealtimes and won't want to eat the foods that contain the nutrition they need to develop and grow.
TIP: If you want to give your child some sugared or artificial sweetened drinks, try restricting this to mealtimes. Why not try adding additional water to dilute the sugars in the drink too.
If your kids are drinks artificially sweetened drinks with lots of calories and sugar on a regular basis, they could be 60% more likely to become obese. There is a positive correlation between increased sugar intake and weight gain.
FACT: A typical 10-year-old needs to cycle vigorously for 30 minutes to burn the calories in one can of cola. (nyc.gov)
As well as being harmful to your weight, consuming too much sugar in the form or added sugar drinks such as artificial sweeteners or other forms can cause an increase in your insulin levels and cause type 2 diabetes or other chromic forms of diabetes.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
If you are worried that your child is consuming too many sugary drinks and are concerned this could lead to type 2 diabetes, the symptoms to look out for are:
• Increased thirst and urination
• Increased hunger
• Weight loss
• Blurred vision
• Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
• Areas of darkened skin
You can read more about type 2 diabetes in children here, or visit your local GP.
Plaque can build up on your children's teeth from excessive sugar consumption and can lead to cavities and even gum disease. This is a growing concern as more and more children are treated with tooth decay. It has been reported by the BBC that 12% of 3-year-olds have 3 or more teeth decayed, missing or filled.
TIP: Try replacing your children's sugar-filled or artificial sweetened soft drinks and fizzy pop with water, milk or natural sugar-free water enhancers. Ensure that your children are brushing their teeth effectively at least twice a day.
Many drinks high in artificial sugar also contain high amounts of caffeine like energy drinks, fizzy cola and Lucazade, some even more than coffee and tea. Caffeine is not needed in children's diets and can even dehydrate the body if drank on a regular basis. To avoid hydration in children why not replace caffeine rich soft drinks with water, or milk (milk is great for rehydrating your body).
Wellness Mama, a healthy lifestyle blogger explains more about why you should avoid drinking fizzy drinks.
Consuming sugar through soft drinks not only affects your child's body, but can also affect their behaviour too. Research has shown that by drinking 2 cans of fizzy drink high in sugar a week can increase your child's aggressive towards others.
Fizzy and soft drinks with added sweeteners can alter the brain's protein levels that in turn can lead to hyperactivity.
Study author Dr Sara Solnick, of the University of Vermont in the United States, said: "We saw that an increase from having one can or less a week to having four cans can increase levels of violence towards peers.
"Drinking more soft drinks leads to further violence. If your child is drinking two cans it can make them more violent.
TIP: If you are seeing aggression in your child, try cutting out artificial sugars completely from their diet including drinks and snacks and monitor the changes in their behavior.
Sugary drinks can affect your child, whilst they are still in the womb. Pregnant women are warned against drinking fizzy drinks after a study in Denmark on 60,000 women, found that those who drank artificially sweetened soft drinks, whether fizzy or still, were found to be more likely to give birth prematurely. It was thought that the chemicals in the unnatural sweetener changed the wombs of the women, which in turn lead to early labour.
This article from parenting.com explains the results of the article.
TIP: If you are worried about your sugar intake during pregnancy, try making a healthy swap to flavoured water enhancers to help increase your water consumption.
The phosphate (the chemical that gives the drinks their tangy flavour) in fizzy drinks and other sugared soft drinks has been found to speed up the aging process and cause premature aging. You can read the report from the NHS here explaining the research carried out by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, USA.
As well as causing premature aging the sugars in popular soft drinks has been found to increase your risk of Alzheimer's. From drinking five cans of cola or similar soft drink a day can worsen your memory and increase the brain deposits associated with Alzheimer's. This is probably not something that would be a health concern for your children at a young age, but sugared drinks can have a long-term effect on their memory. You can read the full report here.
If you're concerned that your chid is drinking to many added sugar or artificial sweetened drinks and are worried about the health implications, try swapping their sugar rich drinks with the following healthy alternatives:
• No added sugar alternatives
• Water - Here are our tips for drinking more water.
• Dilute fruit juices with additional water
• Natural sweetened water enhancers
We support the sugar-free revolution and want to help children and families reduce their sugar consumption. You can learn more about Stur Drink and how natural sugar-free alternative drinks can help by watching this short video.
If you have any questions about any of our Stur Drinks and flavours, please contact us here or call 0345 340 4950.
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