Kids Love Food That Is Sweet

Food and obesity are inextricably linked because we need it to get nutrition, but excess consumption is not a healthy thing, and is especially concerning to parents with school age children.

Recently, it was announced by the beverage industry that they were reducing the amount of calories in soft drinks sold in school vending machines by over 80 percent. I observed someone speaking for former President Clinton who has a number of initiatives concerning curbing obesity in children praising the effort.

Parents are probably also pleased with this development. But wait! The ingredient that is responsible for calories in soft drinks is sugar.Now the natural question is - How are they reducing the amount of calories by over 80 percent? Are the drinks still sweet? If so, then what sweetener are they using to accomplish this noble task?

There is a very important reason why you need the answer to this question. You see, there are a number of so-called sugar substitutes that are nothing less than poison, and that's far worst than sugar.

Most can and bottled soft drinks contain High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)as the sweetener. Because the calories come from HFCS, that is where the reduction in calories is to be realized. If you reduce or eliminate the HFCS, what's the replacement?

Let's consider some probable replacements:

Fructose - which is basically the sugar found in fruit, is perfectly fine when it is ingested in whole foods like apples. "That's because it also comes with a host of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, so you are getting good stuff along with it. But, when fructose is extracted from fruit, concentrated and made into a sweetener, it plays havoc with the metabolism."

Aspartame (aka 'NutraSweet', 'Equal', and 'Spoonful') - This chemical has been linked to many health problems and is much worse than HFCS or refined sugar

Saccharin (aka SweetNLow) - This chemical compound has been around the longest among artificial sweeteners (Over 100 years). It too definitely has it's problems

Acesulfame-K - is an artificial sweetener that's about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It's used in baked goods, chewing gum, gelatin desserts and soft drinks. Two rat studies have found that this substance may cause cancer, and other studies to reliably prove this additive's safety have not been conducted. Acesulfame-K also breaks down into acetoacetamide, which has been found to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits and dogs.

Stevia - The Zero Calorie All Natural Sweetener Stevia is a South American herb that has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The leaves of this small, green Stevia rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar.

So the question is, what are the soft drink companies using to reduce the calorie count in these drinks marketed to kids?

Return from Food to Nutrition

Retrun to Nutrition-Health-Wellness-Info Home