Be sweet to your kids and cut back on the fructose
High fructose corn syrup, a processed sweetener found in everything from soda and sports drinks to pretzels, hamburger buns and ketchup, is a main culprit in the explosion of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes, a leading pediatrician told members of the community April 4. Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco, presented a program called "The Trouble with Fructose" during an ongoing lecture series sponsored by the Oak Park Unified School District Wellness Committee. Lustig outlined why the inexpensive, ultrasweet substance created by altering the sugar in cornstarch is harmful to children.
While Lustig admits that obesity and diabetes can be blamed on the lack of exercise and too much natural sugar consumed by children through sweetened cereal and fruit juices stripped of fiber, he said studies show fructose to be the real culprit. Since fructose is a very inexpensive additive and sweeter than natural sugar, it masks the taste of salt in food and drinks, he said. Sodium and caffeine produce a diuretic effect, causing increased urination and thirst.
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