Food Addiction / Food Environment / Junk Food / Marketing / Sugar

The Sugar Season is Starting

halloweencandy You may think it’s back to school season but walk into your local grocery store you’ll see the candy manufacturers have something else in mind.  We are at the beginning of what I call the sugar season. It goes from now until Easter and every year it seems to start earlier and grows even bigger.  For those of us trying to help our children stay within the recommended limits for added sugar, the degree of difficulty goes way up for the next few months.  Between Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s and Easter, Americans will spend over $6.5 billion on candy. A new infographic highlights just how important it is to limit the amount of added sugar our children consume:

sugar-addiction
Dr. David Sack recently posed the question, “Are we raising a generation of sugar addicts?”

Sugar is enticing, but so are drugs and alcohol. We haven’t given up the fight in educating children about the dangers of drugs, and we must be vigilant about sugar and processed junk food as well. Otherwise, we’re working to prevent one harm while another rages on in our homes.

Why is sugar so harmful?

Eating too much sugar, especially too quickly, eventually leads the brain to miss the “I’m full now” message.

The World Health Organization is reviewing the scientific evidence linking sugar to obesity and is looking to recommend a cut in the amount of sugar in our diets. This will be a formidable task.

Industry is doing all it can to stop that happening, including funding scientists. The tactics of the Big Food and Big Soda multinationals are thus very similar to those employed by Big Tobacco. How much longer will society tolerate industry profiting from making children obese?

This is a question I ask myself on a regular basis as I prepare to guide my children through yet another sugar season.  I hope the answer is not much longer.

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