Kids and sugar: A recipe for disaster!

Sunday September 26 2021
Kids pic
By Diana Elinam

Sugar is usually added to food and drinks to bring out a sweet taste. Despite what people believe in, raw sugar and honey are not more nutritious than white sugar.

Too many sugary foods and sweet drinks can make children feel full and leaves less room for healthy foods. Too much sugar can also lead to cavities if children do not brush their teeth regularly.

How can sugar affect different parts and aspects of a person’s wellbeing?


Your brain

Anyone who eats sugar gives gets a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which is why people constantly crave sweets and sugary foods and fruits. Becoming addicted to sweet goodies is hard to tame.

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One needs to ensure they eat a well-balanced meal and be disciplined enough to treat themselves once in a while because sugary food addiction can be severe and make a person unproductive unless they take something sugary.

This can affect your school life as a student and your home chores as well as your health in general.


Your mood

The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (“sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (the dreaded “sugar crash”).

But if you’re reaching into the candy jar too often, sugar starts to have an effect on your mood and can lead to depression when you become an adult.


Your joints

If you are a young person who loves to consume sugary goodies, you could be destroying your joints and sooner or later you could experience severe joint pain.


Your skin

Another side effect of inflammation - it may make your skin age faster.

Excess sugar attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and creates harmful molecules called “AGEs,” or advanced glycation end products.

These molecules do exactly what they sound like they do: age your skin. They have been shown to damage collagen and elastin in your skin (protein fibers that keep your skin firm and youthful).

The result? Wrinkles and saggy skin start to develop earlier on.


Your pancreas

When you eat, your pancreas pumps out insulin. But if you’re eating way too much sugar and your body stops responding properly to insulin, your pancreas starts pumping out even more insulin.

Eventually, your overworked pancreas will break down and your blood sugar levels will rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


Your teeth

This is the most commonly spoken about effect. So many adults are now battling decayed teeth and this is because too much sugar creates bacteria that cause cavities.