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Deanie Wimmer Reporting The number of children dealing with diabetes and obesity is skyrocketing. Nutritionists warn one of the culprits is too much sugar. It's particularly a problem in the summer.
For one thing, we encourage kids to drink more on hot days. A juice box, 100-percent vitamin C, nutritious choice, right? Guess how much sugar is in just one of these boxes: one, two.....more than six spoonfuls. Here are some things to consider to help your family Stay Safe.
Sweet syrup over shaved ice, one of the many popular tastes of summer.
Nickolai Borba, Shaved Ice Vendor: "Tiger's Blood, Tiger's Blood Cheesecake, add a little cream, it makes it more like ice cream. They're really good."
Caroline Richards: "I like astronaut pops because there's cherry and pineapple."
All these favorites add up to a lot of sugar--in that ice cream cone, as many as 13 spoonfuls; a can of pop has up to nine spoonfuls. You go "healthy" with lowfat yogurt and get 13 spoonfuls of sugar, the same as this package of skittles.
According to the Center for Science in the public interest as much as 20-percent of kids' calories these days come from sugar. Health and fitness advisors say that's a lost opportunity for children with small stomachs.
Denise Druce, Public Health Specialist: "So literally, every bite of sugary, sweet food takes the place of more nutritious food that would help their bodies grow and be more healthy."
Coolers hold after game treats, some with fruit snacks, which have three spoonfuls of sugar, about the same as a mini-3 Musketeers bar.
Denise Druce: "Anything that says fruit, we have a tendency to think that's healthy. But that's not necessarily the case; it's full of sugar and preservatives."
Even our expert learned, encouraging healthy habits among kids can be, well, fruitless.
Denise Druce: "As a parent of a child in soccer last summer, I made the suggestion, let's do healthy snacks. It didn't go over very well."
Experts offer tips for healthier eating and cutting sugar out of your diet:
- Drink more water
- Serve real fruit in place of fruit-flavored snacks
- Read labels