Thursday, November 20, 2008

{Too much is a bad thing!}

While going on my quest to find information about "too much sugar" I came across an article that caught my eye. You will see why in just a moment - first I know you are wondering why I was searching for articles on too much sugar and it's effects.

Well, let me explain: When we moved to the Fruitland School district from the Beaverton school district the kids were getting cupcakes, cookies and candy at the new school EVERY day. At their old school they would only get such sweet treats once in a while because of someone's birthday and a parent brought it in special. I figured they were getting so much because it was October and thought it would discontinue after Halloween was over.

Grandpa always said when you assume - you make an ass out of you and me - and I did because it didn't stop. I talked with the teachers and the principle and told them that it's not healthy to give the kids so much sugar filled "snacks" during the day and it needed to stop. I was made to feel like I was a bad mother because now they were going to have to exclude my kids from getting those treats at snack time and give them something else. One of the excuses they gave me for not having healthy snacks is that "the parents" bring in the snacks and they can't control what the parents bring in. EXCUSE ME! Who is the Teacher and Rule maker for the school?

Here is my problem: Sam would come home so hopped up on sugar that he wouldn't be hungry and then would have a sugar crash and start fighting with Ruth. When I would go to pick up Aaron he would already be in sugar withdrawal and he and Sam would go at it. It effected their sleep - making it impossible to get them down at a decent hour and then Aaron would wake up at 3 am and get into things and wake up his brother & sister (4 hours before they would need to get up!).

I am also trying to instill in my kids good, healthy habits for when they are no longer under my wing and out on their own. With diabetes being on both sides of their family tree I want them to know moderation and why it's important to have sugary processed food sparingly. It's not that they can't ever have them it's that they can't have them every day.

Well I went in today and talked to both their teachers and principle again to reiterate my reasons and brought in a few articles on the subject as well. I am not trying to ban sugary items, just limit their consumption by my children. Too much of anything is not healthy or good for the body. I also wanted to let them know that the kids can have a cupcake or cookie every now and then (say if a child is celebrating their birthday) just not every day like it has been. I also let them know that because of the boys not having soo much sugar at school they are sleeping better and have not fought as much at home (they still fight and will still fight - it's in their nature).

I then handed them the articles I found and went on to volunteer in Sam's class. They were finishing up their costumes for the play they will be putting on this next Tuesday. (yes, I will be taking pictures and maybe take a small video clip of the event on my new phone - if it's here by then).

So on to the articles that caught my eye:

Too much Sugar may cause "brain decay" © 2004 in the American Academy of Neurology & written by Janet Jankowiak, MD

It is well known that too much sugar causes tooth decay, but might it also cause "brain decay?" Recent research suggests that it just might. With the growing epidemic of obesity in the US, the number of people with diabetes is also increasing. Diabetes is due to the body’s inability to maintain a constant level of sugar in the blood, as it should. Over time, this results in problems in many parts of the body, including the kidneys, heart, muscles, nerves and brain. People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke at a younger age. In addition, they may be at a greater risk for a decline in mental function—brain decay—or dementia. Fortunately, improving eating habits and avoiding excessive weight gain may prevent many cases of diabetes. read the rest of the article click HERE

How much sugar is too much sugar for children? © 2004 Baylor College of Medicine

Although children burn extra calories received from sugar during daily activities, some may eventually end up overweight if they consume a high-calorie diet on a daily basis. Children who are overweight face an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease when they get older...........There is a place for sugar in children's diets, but moderation is the key. read the rest of the article click HERE

And here is an interesting article that came up when I googled "side effects of sugar crash in children"....

Are children overdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder? by Melissa Nykorchuk

Attention Deficit Disorder is defined as a marked inability to concentrate and to remain focused on task. ADD effects between 3 and 5 percent of all school aged children. In a classroom of thirty children, this would translate into one student being diagnosed with ADD. As any teacher can tell you, there is more than one student in the class diagnosed with ADD. In fact it is likely that in a class of 30 students, 5 of them will have the diagnosis of ADD. Most likely four of the five will be boys. This statistic means that 16 percent of the children in the classroom have ADD, a clear indication that ADD as a whole is diagnosed too view more please click HERE

This article hit a spot in me because before we changed what the whole family was eating I was constantly asked if Aaron had ADD because he couldn't focus and sit still for long periods. I knew he didn't have it but it's so frustrating to be asked if he did have it. HE of course no longer has this problem.

Our families life style has changed dramatically in the last year. We don't have sugar in the house, we don't eat sugary cereal in the mornings (it's either cherios, kix, rice crispies, chex or something hot like oatmeal or eggs & bacon). We eat fairly healthy and only make cakes, cookies or other sweet items on occasion as part of a celebration. And then the sugar is cut in half. We eat lots of fresh fruits and vegies, grains and don't eat out at fast food places. If we do want to sweeten our hot cereal or tea we use honey.

With my own family history on both sides of bad health I want to do everything in my power and instill good eating habits into my own children so they will have a better footing in their adult lives and hopefully never have to face real health problems that could be prevented.

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