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Preteens and Teens: Being to Sweet Can Kill You!

Sep 15, 2008
The two major health issues that our preteens and teens face today are Obesity and "Diabetes 2". What they eat and what they drink are suspects in slowly leading them to their death because of their contents--the sugars or artificial sweeteners present in the products they consume.

These health issues that have arisen to major proportions over the last twenty years are now transforming the landscapes of middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools across this country. Cafeterias and vending areas are being re-evaluated for the food and beverages that are being served in hopes that healthier options can be provided to our children in curbing these two major health issues.

The body counts on natural sugars, called glyconutrients, to help support the body's growth and immune systems. They include the following:

* Glucose
* Galactose
* Mannose
* Xylose
* Fructose
* N-Acetyl-glucosamine
* N-Acetyl-galactosamine
* N-Acetyl-neuraminic acid

Science Magazine - March 2001 issue devoted a large part of that issue to address the extensive research that is being conducted on glyconutrients and their potential benefits. This comes on the heels of Dr. Gunter Blobel's 1999 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his studies in the new field of Glycobiology.

The body produces its own sugars, glucose and lactose. We add natural sugars with fruits and vegetables, such as fructose and glucose. One set of our taste buds registers the sweetness of that which we eat or drink. Over time, as individuals, we develop a craving for the sweet tasting foods and drinks.

Some very concerned mothers chose not to offer their babies 100% fruit juice for this very reason. But when you travel through the supermarket aisles you can see the sections devoted to developing a taste for sweets...fruit juices, powder mixes for flavored drinks, soda pop, bakery goods, cookies, ice cream and toppings, and all the candy and gum at the check out counter as your last temptation.

The processed sugar products that we consume make it easy for the health professionals explain the weight gain that most Americans register to their surprise as they willingly or unwillingly step on the scale and weigh themselves. The obesity problem which is affecting many of our children today has been offered little help from the food industry across the country to curb our appetite for sweets.

The artificial sweeteners that are on the market and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have only increased one's desire to satisfy our sweet tooth. These artificial sweeteners are still very controversial as one research study showed that two-thirds of the respondents are concerned about the safety of these products.

These sweeteners multiply the sweetness of processed sugar:

* Aspertame is 200x sweeter (NutraSweet and Equal)
* Saccharin is 200 - 700x sweeter (Sweet 'N Low)
* Sacradose is 600x sweeter (Splenda)

and each one of these adds to the increased desire of the taste buds for the higher intensified sweetness that they deliver. Though one may feel good for not adding calories by using these products instead of sugar, artificial sweeteners have a history of health concerns and may still lead to weight gain.

Major cola companies have drawn up plans for each educational level setting as to the different products that will be offered to students in their vending machines. They highlight healthier choices by increasing their bottled water and juices.

Where it has been permitted or a dietician educated chef has been hired, the menus have changed to reflect a healthier choice of foods with an increase in fruits and vegetables served in a more creative way that is more appealing to preteens and teens. Even the trend toward more organic foods has given our children more of the rich vitamin nutrition that these fruits and vegetables lose due to early harvesting, modern food processing and food packaging.

Therefore, if parents want to help their children grow strong and healthy, it is important that they be aware of what they are eating and drinking not only at home, but at school and after school. Too much sugar and/or artificial sweeteners may put their child's health at risk. Obesity and "Diabetes 2" are two serious health risks already on the health care radar screen.

Hopefully, the changes one might find in schools' cafeterias and vending areas are only the beginning of healthier choices, and thus healthier lives for your children.
About the Author
http://www.robertwalshkidsclothing.com is owned and operated by Robert Walsh who writes about everyday family issues & values to save money buying bargain priced trendy clothing including plus size women's fashions & shopping tips for all family needs promoting learning tools & toys for babies to teens, and saving for a college education. FREE newsletter and FREE "100 Resources To Go To College On The Cheap" available on site.
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