Protect Children from Childhood Obesity: Drink Water!

16 September, 2014 , , ,

Water is the only drink that is essential. In fact, our children’s bodies contain 60% water, several litres of which are eliminated daily through perspiration and urine primarily.

So this elimination needs to be balanced. Eating food (especially fruits and vegetables) is of course one way of introducing water into the body, but the most effective way is to drink water directly as a beverage. This simple dietary change can help fight childhood obesity.

Healthy with Pleasure Meal plansMany children never drink pure water, but consume syrups, fruit juice or soda instead at meals and throughout the day. While these drinks do contain water, they also contain lots of sugar… far too many sugars that won’t be used by the body and will lead to excess weight and obesity. In fact, the sugar in these beverages passes very quickly into the bloodstream and spikes the blood glucose levels, thereby inducing a secretion of insulin, the hormone that stores fat and makes you put on weight.

Apart from resulting in excess weight and obesity, sugary drinks also have an adverse effect on health and increase the risk of a stroke, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular pathologies.

Health problems have become so major that a tax on sugary drinks (0.077 Euros/litre) was imposed in France in 2012, to combat obesity and excess weight! This measure was accompanied by an educational campaign that was set up by CEDUS (propaganda agency for the sugar industry) at the behest of the French government.

So, between 2014 and 2019, information on nutrition and health must be issued to the educators and their families by CEDUS at its own expenses.

For its part, WHO recommends no more than 10% of total daily energy intake in sugary foods (for example, this corresponds to a glass of sugar-free fruit juice and a teaspoon of honey).

5 tips from of Virginie Bales

A tax will change precious little so long as there are very powerful industrialists to limit the impact on our wallet. Given that we are consumers, we should behave in a responsible manner:

  1. Allow sugary drinks but not more than one drink a day.
  2. If your kids love fruit compotes, always pick ones without added sugar: these still provide 12% sugar and should therefore be eaten sparingly.
  3. Teach your children not to eat sugary foods between meals and limit this consumption to one per day.
  4. Encourage your children to drink water when they are thirsty and to do the same at mealtimes.
  5. Remember that a child can drink water and nothing else for as long as he only knows this drink.

 “Let food be your medicine” – Hippocrates

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Virginie Bales

An accredited member of the French Association of Dieticians and Nutritionists which she was the Vice President for 4 years, Virginia is passionate about psychology and its impact on eating behaviours. Also an expert in nutrition coaching with a special interest in childhood obesity, Virginia specializes in the nutritional management of patients with renal failure and type I diabetes.

Virginie Bales

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