Children usually consume a significant amount of foods containing sugars like candies, pastries, pastas, cookies, and white breads daily. If children regularly eat sugars, they are more prone to develop health issues such as obesity, tooth decay, and behavioural problems. Fortunately, these complications are preventable. Some dietary habits and behavioural modifications can help avoid them.
The rate of obesity is rising among children. Foods containing sugars are a main risk factor for early-onset childhood obesity. If a child consumes a large amount of sugars daily, a part of sugar expends for energy while the rest deposits as fat in the body. Therefore, the child gradually becomes overweight or obese. Being overweight or obesity in children increases the risk of developing heart attacks, high blood cholesterol, hypertension, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), bronchial asthma, type 2 diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and sleep apnoea. Some psychosocial problems like stigmatisation and poor self-confidence are also associated with childhood obesity. The increased risk of cancers in the colon, oesophagus, breast, cervix, endometrium, ovary, pancreas, kidney, prostate, thyroid, and gall bladder occurs as a result of obesity in children.
Tooth decay is also a rising issue among children. Long-term exposure to sugars increases the risk of developing tooth decay. Sugars in solid foods, snacks, milk, formula, and breast milk can trigger tooth decay. Sweetening a pacifier with sugar or honey and giving a bottle or breastfeeding in bed also facilitate the formation of dental caries. If sugar remains in the mouth for more than 20 minutes, the bacteriae utilise these sugars and produce acids, which gradually destroy the tooth enamel.
Sugar intake affects the child’s activity and behaviour. When a child consumes sugars, the blood-sugar level rises rapidly. This spike...