Being a parent and now a grandparent, in my many years of child rearing I truly thought that sugar had a negative effect on children. After reading this assignment, I was enlightened that sugar consumption has no effect on children’s behavior. Activity levels in children vary with their age. A 2-year old is usually more active, and has a shorter attention span, than a 10 year old.
A child's attention level also will vary depending on his or her interest in an activity. Adults may view the child’s level of activity differently depending on the situation. For example, an active child at the playground may OK. However, a lot of activity late at night may be viewed as a problem. Refined (processed) sugars may have some effect on children's activity. Refined sugars and carbohydrates enter the bloodstream quickly. Therefore, they cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels. This may make a child become more active.
Additional research was completed on my reviewing this topic and I found that there is a documented effect that sugar has on the following.
- Each 12-ounce (355-milliliter) serving of a carbonated, sweetened soft drink contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons (49 milliliters) of sugar and 150 calories. Sweetened drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the daily diets of U.S. children.
- Consuming one 12-ounce (355-milliliter) sweetened soft drink per day increases a child's risk of obesity.
- Acidity from sweetened drinks can erode tooth enamel and their high sugar content can cause dental cavities.