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Sugar: Get Rid of It!

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Guest blogger JJ Virgin: Cut. It. Out! There is nothing beneficial about sugar -- not for you, not for your children. A recent study by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 40 percent of children's caloric consumption comes from empty calories in the form of solid fat and added sugars. Over 23 million children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese, causing their risks for chronic diseases to skyrocket.

Let's face it: That number is daunting and scary. It's no wonder that the epidemic of obesity among kids is viewed as one of the most imminent public health concerns today. The top sources of energy for 2- to 18-year-olds? Grain desserts, pizza and soda. Sugary beverages (including soda and fruit drinks) supplied nearly 10 percent of the total calories consumed. Half of the empty calories ingested came from only six foods: dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, whole milk, soda and fruit drinks. 

Researchers' findings were based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative survey with a complex multistage, stratified probability sample. Calculating solid fats and added sugars using the USDA MyPyramid Equivalents Database, researchers found that children's energy sources also depended on age. Children 2 to 3 years old extracted the most energy from whole milk, reduced-fat milk, pasta and fruit juice; 4- to 8-year-olds' top sources were pasta and reduced-fat milk. Results also varied by race/ethnicity. Major contributors for Hispanic-American children included traditional mixed dishes and whole milk, while non-Hispanic blacks and whites gleaned more energy from sugar-sweetened beverages than from milk. 

In an accompanying commentary, Dr. Rae-Ellen W. Kavey, a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, mentioned that sugar is especially damaging as its' health consequences include accelerated atherosclerosis and early cardiovascular disease. 

Sugar just isn't worth it -- especially when it jeopardizes our children's vibrant futures. 

Nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin is a keynote speaker, spokesperson, author of "Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy" and costar of TLC's "Freaky Eaters" reality series. Visit her at to grab her free audio, "Top 10 Tips to Get Slim and Sexy Fast."

next: Can You Have a Favorite Kid?
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
abby November 8, 2010, 5:40 PM

a little sugar wont kill you…you cant just keep sugar out of a childs life…there’s sugar in everything…i personally dont drink soda, fruit drinks (juice), or any crap food like that so i can afford to have some mms every now and then…if course you shouldnt eat it all the time but chill dont get paranoid or anything…I mean we only have one life to live why make it miserable by constantly worrying about these things, as long as your not obese or in bad health dont worry about it…live life like you should, like theres no tomorrow…btw I’m eating mms right now ;)

Sara November 9, 2010, 4:17 AM

Moderation is the key. Otherwise you end up with a kid that hordes the stuff when you’re not around.

MommyLisa November 9, 2010, 8:34 AM

whatever happend to moderation?

Joe Caulfield November 9, 2010, 12:24 PM

Sugar is the most studied product ever by the FDA. Other than calories added, the FDA found nothing. It seems that when we are totally frustrated, we simply attack sugar (again). All things in moderation, extolled by Aristotle needs to be back in vogue.

Alas, new changes in scientific discovery, are not ever mentioned. There is a NEW sugar called policosanol ( that should totally replace regular sugar, and has zero bad effects, and many good effects.

KS November 9, 2010, 9:32 PM

It’s amazing to me that the FDA would tell people that sugar a natural substance is going to kill their children yet they have no issues with the meat industry washing meat in ammonia.

But I digress lets discuss the point that you failed to grasp. The basic point of this research. The point is that the empty calories break down into glucose. Not that these children are consuming diets comprised of 40% sugar.

Lets not however discuss the fact that children need fat stores for growth spurts because that would be logical.

Lets also not discuss how much glucose the brain needs to function and how much extra glucose the brain needs during times of rapid growth. Like say for instance when your little cherub is learning new words or shapes or the ABC’s, 123’s.

That would also fly in the face of to much logic because we are not talking about logic here we are talking about that evil, pure cane sugar….Except we aren’t talking about pure cane sugar either now are we.

People need to be reasonable. Parents need to stop being fed misinfomation via the FDA who has an agenda then be force fed it by ill informed bloggers who haven’t taken the time to truly fully informed themselves about the biological functioning of the body and sound nutritional information.

If you equate the break down of caloric intake with simple intake of sugar than you are ill informed and should have done a few more hours of research before throwing out this shoddy blog.

pharmacy technician November 15, 2010, 11:44 PM

found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

Harris Filter February 11, 2011, 3:45 PM

Very efficiently written information. It will be supportive to anybody who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work - can’r wait to read more posts.

Magdalen Leep April 4, 2011, 10:06 PM

Great ideas, thanks for having the initiave to think of it

peugeots April 9, 2011, 1:05 AM

Lovely post, thanks for showing the initiative to write it down

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