Sugar Intake and Its After-Effects
Who doesn’t like sugary products? Well, I can’t say no to a chocolate or a cookie, especially to the ones that are presented deliciously in commercial advertisements. Although chocolates and cookies can be mouth-watering, both in advertisements and in reality, it must be noted that these products contain a lot of sugar and fats. No one can deny that we all have that one commercial advertisement that makes us feel nostalgic, reminding us of our childhood memories of having an emotional bond with fat, sugary foods. But one must consider the amount of sugar intake and its after-effects.
EATING BEHAVIOR OF CHILDREN
While multiple factors influence eating behavior and food choices of children, one potent force is food advertising. Children are the easy targets for the food industries as they do not recognize the persuasive intent. They are also more receptive to sweet tastes than adults. According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 41 million children were overweight in 2016. This leads to one of the serious public health challenges of the 21st century. This is a serious problem that needs attention because children are our future.
Food advertisements should strictly follow the regulations to be more truthful and less exaggerating about products, this epidemic can be attenuated. Further, similar to the cautionary label on cigarette packets, I think foods containing processed sugars have to be sold with appropriate labels stating the after-effects of their consumption.
The nutrition, a child receives during the first few years of life can affect his/her health for years to come. I normally observe that the people, especially the older ones in villages are much physically stronger and healthier. It might be because of the reason that they were born in the generation where there were no televisions or gadgets that made them sit at home. Also that children there are always near to nature, playing in the farms, plucking and eating all kinds of seasonal fruits and vegetables. This makes me realize the external distractions or influences on today’s generation. And also how healthy nutrition and lifestyle can benefit children in long run.
Numerous research studies have shown that eating behaviors established during childhood track contribute to long-term health and chronic disease risk. Scientific research in U.S. shows that children and adolescents are the major market force for the food industry. The report says that on average 11 in 19 commercials per hour were about food with fats and sugars including candies, soft drinks, chips, cakes, cookies, and pastries. On the other hand, American Heart Association reports have shown that childhood obesity is no. 1 health concern among parents in the US. One in three American kids and teens is either overweight or obese. It’s important to relate these studies to understand the negative influence of food advertisements on children’s eating habits and especially sugar intake.
The food industry is very successful in triggering the minds of young children towards unhealthy choices. It’s time for a change and some consciousness. Every company has to take individual responsibility to promote/advertise their products with little more consciousness. Advertise consciously so that children know the after effects and be aware of their choices. At the same time, parents and caretakers should act sensibly when it comes to their children’s health. Act consciously as their well-being is our responsibility.
Remember by doing good for children, you are doing good for your community, and by doing good for your community, you are doing good for yourself.
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