Letter: Third grader encourages kids to eat less sugar
To the Editor:
You know that too much sugar is bad for you. But does everyone think before they eat lots of sugar? The answer to that is no. This is a problem. And I’m going to solve it. People eat too much sugar.
One reason is sugar is bad for you. Sugar is bad for you because it has calories, and because if you have diabetes or a diabetes-related condition —let’s say high blood fat level — then having sugar will increase your blood sugar, and your triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Did you know the average kid under 12 consumes 49 pounds of sugar per year?
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, some sugars are part of a healthy diet. Sugar has benefits for your brain health. According to what the American Heart Association says, “the maximum amount of added sugar kids should eat in a day is six teaspoons. That’s about 25 grams of sugar or 100 calories. I’m not taking about the sugars we all get from eating fresh fruits and vegetables or those that are naturally present in milk. According to the World Health Organization, there is no reported evidence of negative effects of consuming those sugars.
Doctors say, “most of us know that we need to cut down on sugar. Doing so can lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart attack and make you less likely to develop dementia.”
When simple sugars are naturally found in whole foods, they come with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Natural sugars in whole foods is so called “good sugar.”
Another reason is some people don’t make healthy choices. The new guidelines from the World Health Organization are focused on “added” or “free” sugar. This type of sugar called “added sugar” is considered “bad sugar.”
These include sugars that are added to processed foods and drinks such as donuts, cookies, candy and soft drinks. When any type of sugar that is added to foods during processing, cooking or at the table you consume calories without any nutrients or fiber.
Simple sugars cause a spike in blood sugar.
Here is a way to fix this. Time for kids to say, “While sweet treats can be hard to resist, the World Health Organization has set new dietary guidelines released in 2015 advise that both adults and children cut back on their sugar intake to stay healthy. As kids and adults, we should eat fruits and vegetables, and healthy snacks.”
I am 8 years old. I can’t do this by myself. Will you stop eating lots of sugar and help me make a difference?
Third grade, Mrs. Pasaikos class