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Pattaya Daily News

29 May 2013 :: 10:05:23 am 70932

If You Love Kids, Don’t Give Them Candy

There is a worrisome rise in unhealthy eating habits of Thai youngsters who indulge in crunchy snacks and sweet candies, some of them on a daily basis. Such habits can result in an increase in tooth decay, as well as increased risks of obesity and malnutrition that can stunt growth.
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While the amount of sugar used in candies has not been very high in the past, the rate of sugar now used in making the candies has been increasing, compared to other industries.

One bead of candy is about 96 to 98 percent sugar, with the remainder being synthesized chemicals to create scent and color. The cumulative effects of these chemicals is unknown, said Dr. Piyada Prasertsom D.D.S. He is the planner of the campaign for Thai Children Not To Eat Sweets, sponsored by theThai Health Promotion Foundation.

A survey of the eating habits of 9,740 Thai children, aged 1-14 years, was conducted during Thailand’s National Health Survey of 2008-2009 by the public health system’s Research Institute. The survey found that 3-year-old children in Thailand had an average of 3.21 decayed teeth. The 5-year-olds surveyed had more decayed teeth, 5.43 teeth, which is 80.64 percent higher than the 3 year olds.

Results also showed that children in rural areas had more decayed teeth than city children. Of the younger children surveyed, 30 per cent ate snacks every day, while 42 per cent ate snacks on some days. About 15 to 20 per cent of the children ate candies every day, while 42 per cent ate candy only on some days.

A time comparison was made between 2003 and 2008-2009, to compare the eating of crunchy snacks and candies for children ages 6-14 years old. Researchers found that in 2003, 12 per cent of the children ate crunchy snacks every day. But this increased to 30 per cent in 2008-2009, an increase of 2.3 times over the earlier percentage. The problem with crunchy snacks is they often have too much fat and sodium, much more than the recommended standard.

As for candies and sweets, in 2003, about 10.3 per cent of kids ate candies and sweets every day. But in 2008-2009, this rate jumped to 20 per cent, an increase of twice the previous percentage. According to the Thai Children Don’t Eat Sweets network, children as young as 8.5 months old start the habit of eating sweet snacks and candies, which are given to them by their parents and babysitters who use the sweets to quiet down their crying.

Candies now have so much sugar that eating more than 2 beads is exceeding the recommended daily limit. Sugar is the main culprit in tooth decay. When sugar is eaten, it creates acids inside the mouth that attack the teeth for 40 minutes, before the mouth returns to normal acidic balance. If someone is eating candy throughout the day, and by the hour, the effect is like soaking the teeth in acid all the time, which will quickly decay teeth severely.

So if you love your kids, don’t give them candies!

Photo : Internet   Category : Health

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