Doc’s plea over sug­ary drinks for kids

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page -

A se­nior doc­tor has called on par­ents to stop giv­ing chil­dren and teenagers sug­ary drinks.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, di­rec­tor of pub­lic health at NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde, is call­ing on the par­ents to of­fer their chil­dren only sugar-free drinks or wa­ter.

This is be­cause these op­tions are health­ier and bet­ter for their teeth.

Child­hood obe­sity fig­ures con­tinue to make for grim read­ing and show no signs of low­er­ing.

The lat­est fig­ures show that al­most one-in-five chil­dren are over­weight or obese when they start pri­mary school and al­most one in three by the time they leave pri­mary school.

Dr de Caestecker be­lieves if we don’t take dras­tic ac­tion now, half of all chil­dren will be over­weight or obese by 2020.

She said: “Our pop­u­la­tion is al­ready con­sum­ing too much sugar and a small can of stan­dard cola con­tains al­most the max­i­mum daily amount of sugar rec­om­mended for a small child.

“Many peo­ple are con­cerned about the wider im­pacts of shift­ing con­sump­tion habits from sug­ary food and drinks to those that are ar­ti­fi­cially sweet­ened.

“There is cur­rently con­flict­ing re­search on the wider health im­pli­ca­tions of over­con­sump­tion of ar­ti­fi­cially sweet­ened prod­ucts.

“While ar­ti­fi­cially sweet­ened bev­er­ages can be use­ful for those in­di­vid­u­als with a high in­take of sug­ary drinks, es­pe­cially those above a healthy weight, this is only a tem­po­rary mea­sure.

“In the long term, in­di­vid­u­als should aim to break their re­liance on sweet foods.”

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