As of 2005, 176,500 children under the age of 20 had been diagnosed with diabetes. These numbers continue to rise. Have you ever asked yourself why this disease has become so prevalent in our society, especially with our children?
What about obesity? More and more of our country’s children can be classified as overweight. According to the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 17% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are considered obese.
What is causing the rise in childhood obesity and diabetes? One cause is the increased use of High Fructose Corn Syrup, another is the use of refined sugars in most of our food. For now, we are going to discuss how the refined sugar is hurting our children.
When sugar is refined, it is chemically stripped of its natural minerals that help our bodies metabolize the sugar. A constant diet of foods containing refined sugar forces the body to try to compensate for the overabundance. How does it do this?
Well, our bodies are smart! Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are used in chemical processes to counteract the level of sugar in the blood. Feeding our children all of these foods that contain refined sugar is weakening their bodies! Over time, the amount of calcium drawn from the body leads to weakening of the bones & teeth.
Refined sugar is initially stored in the liver. When eaten daily, the liver eventually gets overloaded, and the excess is sent back through the blood in the form of fatty acids. These fatty acids then settle on the typical problem areas: belly, butt and thighs. Once those areas of our body are full, the fatty acids are sent to other organs, such as the heart or the brain, and cause further health problems.
When we eat sugars, a signal is sent to our pancreas, telling it to produce insulin; insulin is another way that our bodies clear the sugar from the blood. A consistent diet of refined sugars wears down the pancreas so that it can no longer produce insulin. This is why so many of our children have the potentially fatal disease, Diabetes.
A constant diet that contains refined sugars can suppress your immune system; it also increases the amount of minerals and vitamins lost through urination. You know that dreaded “sugar high”? Repeated ingestion of refined sugars increases the production of adrenalin; especially in children. Thus, we have tons of children “diagnosed” and put on drugs for ADD & ADHD…a lot of this could be avoided if the children just had a better diet!
How can you avoid refined sugars in your children’s diet? Start by feeding them more fruits and vegetables. These contain natural sugars that their bodies are more equipped to break down. You will see less hyper-activity and lethargic behavior from your children, and they will be better able to concentrate.
If refined sugar is so bad for us, why is it being used, you may wonder. Because, sadly, the food industry is so focused on making a profit that they don’t want consumers to know these harmful side effects. They have used excuses such as not wanting to include items on labels until the results have been fully researched. My question is this: if something hasn’t been fully researched, why is it in the foods that the food industry are saying are healthy for my children??