|Sugar is NO Treat
by Robert Lovenheim
I recently attended the monthly meeting of the Township officials in Monroe County. The discussion led to how to best accommodate children on Halloween, which got me thinking about sugar consumption.
Sugar, while it is delicious, can be dangerous. According to the CDC, over 34 million people in the US have diabetes, and 88 million over the age of 18 have pre-diabetes. That means one in ten Americans have diabetes, and one in three of the US adult population has pre-diabetes. What causes it? For some it is inherited, but for most it is a sugar-rich diet – did you know there’s sugar in some fast-food hamburger buns? Diabetes is deadly if not properly managed. Some of the potential complications of diabetes include nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and cardiovascular disease.
The first step is to be aware of how little sugar the body needs. The American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar daily, and women and children under 18 consume no more than 6 teaspoons. Halloween is our biggest sugar holiday, and it’s important to mitigate our children’s sugar consumption.
There are alternatives. Cookies can be made with Stevia and dark chocolate chips. No-sugar-added snacks like some (but not all) dried fruit or nuts are great alternatives too. Search “No Sugar Candy” on the internet and you will see pages of choices!
It’s not as easy as going to the supermarket and wandering an entire aisle of sugar candies sold in bulk bags to hand out on Halloween. But isn’t it worth a little more time and some more pennies to give kids treats that can enforce good habits? One day, maybe we can all achieve a healthier Halloween.
Interested in learning more about Diabetes? Check out the CDC’s webpage on Diabetes.