Fitness

Children and Chocolate

Research reveals that children in the 1950s ate less junk food than today’s kids, who are hooked on sweet soda, potato chips and candy. Parents should create an environment where children eat a healthy, balanced diet and junk food is limited. However, there is still room for the occasional treat. Chocolate is one popular treat with children and adults alike. In moderation, chocolate is harmless. However, there are a number of negative side effects associated with chocolate when it is eaten to excess.

Negatives of Chocolate

  • Chocolates contain additives, fats, chemical flavoring, corn syrup and refined sugar. All of these are unhealthy. There is in fact little cocoa in most chocolate candy bars.
  • Chocolate candy may be sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
  • The sugar in chocolates can increase acid in saliva. This can lead to tooth decay in children who consume chocolates regularly.
  • High levels of dietary sugar can affect the immune system.
  • Too much sugar can affect the absorption of magnesium and calcium.
  • Eating junk food like chocolates can deprive children of the nutrition required for healthy growth.
  • Too much chocolate consumption can make a child overweight or obese, increasing the risk of degenerative ailments like diabetes and heart disease.

Always consult your doctor before beginning a new diet or exercise regimen.

References

USDA and US Department of Health and Human Services; 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; 2010;

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/PolicyDoc.pdf

Cut Back on Your Kid’s Sweet Treats; ChooseMyPlate.gov;
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet13CutBackOnSweetTreats.pdf

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