Kids can get addicted to sweets and candy. I think that this is part of the evolutionary process. Children are naturally picky eaters. Back when we were hunter gatherers if a child picked up anything off of the forest floor and ate it, they might get sick or even die. But most fruits that are sweet aren’t poisonous. The plant that has the bitter or sour fruit is trying to discourage plant eaters from consuming it.
When I was young my brother and I would go to the five and dime and get a huge bag of penny candy. Then we would go home, watch TV and eat it. This pretty much happened every day. He got fat, I didn’t, but we both developed diabetes later in life.
Back then, other than the candy, we both had a mother and grandmother who would cook wholesome meals for us every day. There were some fried foods, but there were also several vegetables and fresh fruit for dessert every day.
The only fast food place in the neighborhood was a little greasy spoon up the street. And even when we ate there, the portions weren’t huge like they are at fast food restaurants today.
According to Medical News Today: “Over 23 million children in the United States, including adolescents, are either overweight or obese.”
Researchers reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that HALF of all calories that are eaten by kids living in America are empty calories. No wonder we have the fattest kids in the world. The adults aren’t doing too bad either.
Beside the large consumption of junk foods and fast food (some kids eat it every day), a large portion of these empty calories come from soft drinks sweetened with corn syrup. Since we have such an abundance of corn here in the United States, we have replaced more expensive sugar with the sweet corn syrup.
As a matter of fact the stuff is practically in all processed foods as well, even the ones that aren’t supposed to be sweet. Grain desserts, pizza, and soda account for most of the carbohydrates in kid’s food. Most of the foods they eat get their total calories from added fat and sugar. Take the “cream” filling in cupcakes for example. It’s pure fat whipped with sugar. Has no nutritional value whatsoever.
If parents don’t take control of their children’s diet and educate them the epidemic of diabetes and obesity that’s going on in this country will continue to escalate.