Say WHAT???

Did you know that drinking 1 bottle of soda a day = eating 50 pounds of sugar a year? That’s 10 big bags of sugar the size of the one pictured here. Per year! TEN BAGS. 

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Today over a third of children are overweight or obese and sugary drinks are one of the biggest contributors.

None of us want our children to end up sick or disabled by diabetes, heart disease, bone or joint problems, sleep apnea, or low self-esteem. Nor do we want to see them suffer the pain of social isolation, depression or teasing that obesity can produce.

But don’t get fooled into thinking that it’s just the sodas and sports drinks that need to be avoided. Other culprits include SunnyDelight and other “fruit flavored” beverages, flavored coffee drinks and fruit juice. Even though fruit juice has its place in the world, kids really don’t need it.

My pediatrician once advised me to skip the juice but let my kids eat as much fruit as they wanted. He reminded me that a piece of fruit is a much better choice since it provides lots of fiber and fewer calories than a glass of juice. But if you insist on going the juice route anyway, make sure you exercise portion control. Keep it small! Four to six ounces per serving is plenty.

So if you do one thing only (in addition to insisting on that minimum 30 minutes per day of active play time) cut out all sugary drinks and stick to non-fat milk or water as the beverages of choice for your gang.

 

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Ellen W. Schrier, LCSW, is a family therapist and the mother of three adolescent/young adult kids.


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