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What are the health risks of sugary drinks for children?

Although sugary drinks like punch and lemonade may seem to quench your child’s thirst, they actually do the opposite -- they increase it since sugar actually triggers thirst. So make sure kids don’t overdo these sweet drinks.

Many experts are partly blaming the dramatic increase in childhood obesity on the overconsumption by kids of sweetened soft drinks such as soda, iced tea, and artificially flavored fruit beverages. A recent study revealed that for every glass of sugar-sweetened drink a child consumed each day, his or her risk of becoming obese increased by 60%!

Sodas also are doubly destructive for your child’s teeth because the acidity destroys the protective enamel -- even in sugar-free sodas -- and the sugar promotes decay. In addition, adolescents, who need more than double the calcium of young children, are increasingly choosing soda over milk and putting their bone development and healthy growth in jeopardy.

In fact, most older children and adolescents in the United States currently do not achieve the recommended intake of calcium. Only 10% of adolescent girls achieve the recommended adequate dietary intake of calcium of 1,300 mg per day. Try to discourage soft drinks and persuade your child to get more calcium by providing calcium-enriched orange juice with breakfast, or blending up a smoothie or milk shake. And throw some berries and bananas in! You want to take every opportunity to include fruits and veggies in your child’s diet.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg
Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.