The WHO released a survey report that it sampled baby foods in the UK, Denmark and Spain from 2016 to 2017. During the testing process, some manufacturers added fruit stalks to the food to increase the sugar content. Eating these foods can cause many health injuries such as dental caries and obesity.
Although “forbidden sugar” is only a recommendation of the WHO, not a hard one, it also gives parents a signal that the intake of polysaccharides by infants and young children cannot be underestimated.
Eating sugar brings health risks
Compared with eating salt, the intake of polysaccharides is more harmful to infants and young children.
"Sugar addiction" is a big hazard. Yan Guangfeng, director of the Science and Technology Department of Kexin Food and Nutrition Information Exchange Center, explained that sugar enters the human body and acts on the brain, interfering with the effects of ghrelin and leptin. Hunger hormones can cause hunger, leptin can make people feel full, and sugar can interfere with the transportation and transduction of hunger hormones and leptin, which always makes people feel full. In addition, sugar can reduce the dopamine signal in the brain's reward center, so sugar will weaken the pleasure of food, let children eat more, and have a similar "addictive" feeling.
Although most parents control the sugar intake of infants and young children, once they open the door to sugar, it is difficult to close. If infants under the age of three consume too much sugar, it will bring health risks.
Fan Zhihong, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety of the College of Food Science, China Agricultural University, told the Journal of Chinese Academy of Sciences that infants and young children who eat too much sugar will reduce the nutrient density of the diet. The same calorie intake contains less nutrients, which can affect the quality of nutrition and cause puffiness, thus increasing the risk of overweight and obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“If your child eats more sweets, other foods with higher nutrient content will decrease.” Fan Zhihong said that if you eat sweet foods from a small age, you will also let your child develop a sweet taste, which will affect them to accept other unsweetened foods. , thereby reducing the diversity of food and reducing the intake of foods that are not sweet but have high nutritional value.
In addition, eating sugar is equivalent to providing more convenient and rapid energy for bacterial growth and metabolism, which increases the risk of dental caries. Xu Baohua, director of the Stomatology Center of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said that the teeth of children under 3 years old belong to the deciduous teeth, and the mineralization of the deciduous teeth is relatively low. When the sweets enter the mouth, the bacteria convert the sugar into acid by metabolism, and the acid demineralizes the teeth and forms a cavity. He also pointed out that if the sweets are not controlled, it will lead to lower blood calcium concentration, causing the elasticity of the retina to decline, affecting the development of the eye wall and increasing the probability of myopia in the future.
In the past few years, WHO has published guidelines for free sugar intake in adults and children. It is recommended that sugar intake should be controlled below 10% of total energy, preferably at least 5% of total energy. Now, WHO recommends that infant foods under the age of 3 are forbidden to add sugar. In the opinion of many experts, it is because WHO has realized that the potential harm of sugar intake is long-term and may accompany the child's life.
How to reduce sugar intake?
The World Health Organization’s proposal to ban the addition of free sugars includes: addition of sugar and other sweeteners (including all syrups, honey, fruit juices, juice concentrates or sweeteners such as saccharin, acesulfame, sucralose, aspartame) , stevia); juice and concentrated juice (except a small amount of added lemon or lemon juice as a preservative).
In order to promote effective policy and legal measures in countries to avoid the use of “inappropriate propaganda” in infant and young children’s food, WHO said that it will update the guidance on baby food in the future so that member states can use this as a reference to legislate and avoid infants. Ingested polysaccharides. The WHO also recommends that infants should be breastfed from birth to six months.
According to the "Journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences", at present, there is no rigid regulation of the sugar content of children's foods in the country, nor does it stipulate which foods are foods for infants and young children under three years of age. So how do you help your infants reduce their sugar intake? Fan Zhihong suggested that the first thing to do is to add food supplements without adding any sugar.
"In addition to fruits, dried fruit and normal sugared yogurt, other sweet foods are not eaten, so the child is accustomed to a diet with little sugar. Once it is already sweet, the change is more troublesome." Fan Zhihong said, if already hobby Sweet, it is recommended to gradually control the quantity, replace the sweetness with low sweetness, replace the sugar snack snack with fruit, dried fruit and yogurt, and quit the sweet drink. In addition, parents should also play a demonstration role, drinking eight treasure porridge, soup, soy milk, etc. at home, do not add sugar, develop habits, children will gradually return to normal light taste after a few months.
Liu Qingchun suggested that parents should try their best to keep the original taste when cooking for infants under 3 years old. Except for a small amount of vegetable oil, it is best to add less salt, sugar and irritating seasonings. In the food supplement, you can add some foods rich in dietary fiber. The dietary fiber can clean the tooth surface and prevent dental caries.
Shuguang Feng suggested that even pure juice should be eaten less and try to eat whole fruits directly. When squeezing fruit and vegetable juices, put more vegetables and less fruits. In addition, parents should pay attention to nutrition labels when purchasing packaged foods. Especially those foods known as “zero fat”, “low sugar” or “no sugar” must pay attention to its ingredients and nutrient content. In addition, in the food label, there are many things are actually sugar, such as corn syrup, maltodextrin, etc. If these things exist, also pay attention to eat less.