"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).

 


Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive