On the heels of Halloween when most homes across the country are brimming with candy and heading into a busy holiday season, we are literally floating in sugar from holiday to holiday to holiday from now until the New Year.
Over consumption of the sweet, white stuff can literally have ill effects when one ODs on it too frequently. Too much of it (or anything, for that matter) is never a good idea.
New research offers a link between such sugar over consumption with conditions that eventually lead to type II diabetes and heart disease in children. This, in turn, is fueling the ever-increasing debate as to the causes of our society’s health problems, as it relates to obesity and obesity-related diseases.
Replace Sugary Snacks with Fruits and Veggies
What the study looked at was the specific effect of added sugar in particular rather than calories. The researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Touro University California looked at soda, pastries, sugary cereals and other sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. Then, they took it away from 43 Latino and African American children and teenagers who all had metabolic syndrome for nine days. These kids were part of an obesity program at the UCSF Obesity Clinic. They replaced sugary foods with pizza, baked potato chips and other starchy processed foods. So, the swap was not replaced with healthier fare like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains – which is important to note since that obviously would have had a positive impact on the kid's health.
Although the study was short term and only a small number of children were involved -- and they still consumed highly processed foods -- but they reduced added sugar and saw significant health results. They practically reversed all metabolic syndrome symptoms – high cholesterol, high blood sugar and other conditions that can lead to type II diabetes.
The results certainly opened many people’s eyes and highlighted the need to reduce sugar intake. But more needs to be studied to make a definitive connection.
All things in moderation I always say. Sugar, in of itself, is not bad, rather it’s the over consumption and dependency of it that is not a good choice for children or adults alike.
In fact, recently health officials have begun targeting sugar and suggesting one’s consumption should be lowered. And, this focus seems to be gaining popularity among consumers who have voiced concerns over the amount of sugar they regularly consume and taken action such as reducing their consumption of sugary beverages for instance.