Sunday, November 6, 2011

Artificial Sweeteners for kids? Yes or No

Artificial Sweeteners...are they good for kids? Stevia, sucralose, aspartame or saccharin?

Do you let your kids consume them?

This week's newsletter wraps up our series on sugar with the controversial topic of artificial sweetener's.

The National Cancer Institute states that after years of research there is no evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer. A very popular pediatrician, Dr. Sears, reports that artificial sweeteners could cause "artificial reactions" in children such as behavior or learning problems and recommends that parents avoid them. Most studies that are done with artificial sweeteners contain high amounts of product which are rarely consumed by humans.
If your child has diabetes then artificial sweeteners are a staple in their diet because sugar will raise a child's blood sugar level which can be dangerous in diabetes. If a child has a weight problem sugar substitutes may help decrease the calorie intake in their diets. If a child is overweight, teaching them to use a chemical or artificial substitute does not teach them about good nutrition habits. Artificial sweeteners are only a band-aid to a much larger problem. Unless a child has diabetes, and carbohydrates or sugar could cause issues with a child's health, learning about how to eat with proper portion sizes and healthy food choices is a better option.

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