"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

A Soft Drink a day Keeps Good Behaviour Away

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, August 24, 2013

I was reading the paper this morning and was astonished to read that HALF of all Australian children drink one can of soft drink a day and 13 per cent drink three cans or more (as published in the Journal of Pediatrics).  I was devastated to learn that parents are giving babies soft drinks in their sippy cups and bottles (as reported in the Medical Association). 

The mistake I often make as a practitioner is the assumption that common sense is common and that people have been exposed to the education and facts that I have that prevent me making those decisions and mistakes.

I did my dissertation at university on ADD/ADHD and treatment about 10 years ago, so know too well the relationship between poor diet and behaviour problems, not just in children, but adults too.

The headline of the article I was reading was "Soft drinks make kids crazy" (The Courier Mail Saturday 24 August).  In fact I wouldn't even have read it except that I was so surprised that this was "news".  I thought this was OLD NEWS and by now EVERY ONE KNEW that soft drinks make kids crazy.  Apparently many still don't realise the disastrous effects soft drinks are having on children. 

For those that don't yet know, and that is what this article was highlighting was a study by the University of Columbia on 3000 five year olds, that children who had a can of soft drink a day had more behavioural problems than those who drank none. 

"All five year olds have "behavioural problems", it has nothing to do with soft drink, my kid is just hyperactive." I have heard parents explain. But the reality is a sugar hit accompanied with a caffeine hit to a young developing brain can have the similar effect to a drug.  It can make kids excitable, jittery, distracted, giddy, dizzy and agitated.. and at an age they are not able to explain what has hit them, they just act it out.  A parent looking on says, "What's got into you, stop being so naughty, calm down."  But they have been over stimulated chemically and physiological and like someone under the influence of alcohol or a drug, you can't just "switch that effect off" and "behave properly". 

The other down side of soft drink is the sugar hit (and caffeine hit) triggers the stress response commonly referred to as "fight or flight response" (which activates hormones that give the body a kick of adrenalin) which typically will "get us going" or "makes us withdrawn".  This fight or flight response in children could be played out as aggression or depression.  Certainly a daily hit of this is not good for a body especially not a little one on a regular basis. Unfortunately "sugar" is not just "sugar" when it's consumed in those quantities in that fizzy, caffeinated delivery system.  Caffeine will accelerate a sugar hit to the brain.

The article notes the Australian Dental Associations Dr Peter Aldritt's coment: "I think people would be shocked if they realised that the average soft drink has 16 packets of sugar in it."

Just in case you didn't know: Soft drinks are also often full of artificial ingredients which effectively are toxins the liver has to then deal with, and the sugar and acidity of sugary fizzy drinks erode tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.  Those are some of the LONG KNOWN effects. 

Certainly something we don't want our children to get a "taste" for or develop addictions to this early in their little lives.  Let them seek out soft drinks if they must when they are adults and are practicing free will, but certainly don't allow or ignorantly facilitate daily consumption of soft drinks. 

Better alternatives for children (0-10)?

Breast milk or formula, water, Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices (diluted with water and not before 6 months), sparkling mineral water, caffeine free herbal teas like fruit teas or Jasmine tea or Rooibos tea (for over 2s and never from a bottle and away from meals).

 

Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment




Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://www.ivegotlife.com.au/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=2786&PostID=346929&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

life choices comfort pig low calorie diet reasons to eat foods in season Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah mood how to avoid injury during exercise the tummy beast quizz health love, loneliness nutritionists diet diary comfort eating the power to choose performance cooking with allergies should I eat organic veggies dangers of multitasking while you eat hunger and stress quick eating solutions music trans fats sexy salad fruit and vegetable shortage recipe christmas I've Got Life Sensational mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo happiness workshop obesity delicious make stress work for you cooking class in brisbane diet diary ask my doctor dance weight have more energy pop-eye and spinach I don't get hungry four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication making time to relax image time management and healthy living recipes for allergies allergies sensitivity to milk Laughter and stress cholesterol lowering diet assertiveness nutrition taking a break what is healthy food health one step at a time soft drink and behavior problems success and you breast cancer prevention soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity organic vegetables comfort foods weight loss breast cancer awareness fun 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart herbal toothpaste gift drugfree alternatives life healthy cooking parties alzheimers are grains healthy prostate cancer is chocolate bad for me Lactose intolerance how to check your breasts control ability to respond addicted to chocolate soft drink and behaviour problems sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas avoiding a choice happiness course heart foundation tick explained focus memory relationship with food heart disease 10 % principle libido what is movember feels good how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results health pioneers food intolerances is sugar bad seasonal quick and tasty recipes real food 7 steps to detox fatigue skipping meals Lisa's Diary new year's resolutions strength support your body immune boosting tips sugar and adhd healthy cooking party motivation childrens lunch boxes nutritionist fresh maintain a healthy weight, underweight recipies Nina Simone increasing energy have fun in the kitchen how to say no ways to improve prostate health quick recipes Add new tag simple 7 day detox plan health with 10 % effort getting fit reducing coffee keep focused are frozen veggies any good fruit health for busy people wrong type of exercise, exercise and results stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress low cholesterol Happiness healthy fast food, healthy take away how to love exercise immune system food allergies homocysteine fresh start benefits of sleeping detox muscle wasting celebrate life sexy salads healthy cooking demonstration fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys sugar and add healthy shopping empty your mind healthy shopping list Alan Pease food sensitivities Cancer benefits of strength training, why you should strength train love food great second hand books taking responsibility breakfast Nutritional Therapist anxiety Egg allergy fussy eaters leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut how to be happy to know and not do is not yet to know gluten intolerance do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources skip meals natural toothpaste relax corporate wellness what is a good breakfast nutritious how to get more of exercise improve your memory benefits to keeping a diet diary healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options weightloss dancing energy best exercise overindulge foods in season, seasonal recipes cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia calorie controlled diet diet diary of a nutritionist low calorie meal plan which is better for you butter or margarine go for 2 and 5 salad muffins blood pressure high cholesterol brain health natural alternatives to drugs life lessons lunch indigestion nutritious cooking nutritionist in brisbane

Archive