Boo! Those sugary Halloween treats can be scary for kids’ health
Please be careful this weekend when the munchkins, angels, devils, Donald Trumps, and other costumed Halloween celebrants take to the streets. And when hitting the markets to figure what treats should be earned by the tricksters, keep in mind this, too, please: Do you want to dole out a substance that a growing body of research says helps to make grownups and children – kids most especially — fat and sick?
Hold the sugar, especially in the candy that the kids will be devouring for weeks, and find alternatives or small-sized delectables. Here’s some evidence why.
Even when 43 kids at an obesity clinic at the University of California at San Francisco ate a diet heavy on processed foods, these Latino and African-American youngsters with symptoms of metabolic syndrome (conditions including high cholesterol that can lead to diabetes) showed “striking” results when researchers took away their soda, pastries, sugary cereals, and other foods and beverages sweetened with added sugar, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We reversed virtually every aspect of their metabolic syndrome,” said Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and lead author of the paper. He said the kids’ triglycerides, high levels of which can contribute to a hardening of the artery walls and cause acute pancreatitis, showed a “very, very large improvement.”
Lustig and others warn that sugar in its various forms and taken in excess can harm the health of children and adults.
Need a little nutritional information on various candies still? Try here (why you may want to stay away from the candy corn) or here (a data table).