Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Too much sugar hurting kids’ health and cognition
兒童攝取高量糖損害健康與智力

A collection of sugary drinks is pictured in Taipei on Aug. 29 last year.
這張去年八月二十九日攝與台北市的照片是一堆含糖飲料。

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者張嘉明

According to a survey conducted by the Health Promotion Administration, 19.5 percent of the elementary school children respondents in Taiwan drink at least one sugary drink every day, while 7.8 percent said that they eat candy or chocolate at least once every day.

Consuming sugary foods for an extended period leads to addiction and affects children’s physical health and mental development. Administration officials suggest that teachers and parents stop rewarding kids by giving them candy or chocolate, giving them hugs, playing outdoor sports and providing them with better nutrition such as fruit and vegetables instead.

Chen Ting-fang, head of the administration’s Community Health Division, says that according to the results from a recent national survey on changes in nutrition and health that was administered to 1,035 elementary school students, 48.2 percent of the respondents drink sugary drinks at least once a week, while 19.5 percent said that they drink at least one sugary drink daily. Forty-one percent of the respondents said that they eat candy or chocolate at least once a week, while 7.8 percent said that they do so at least once every day, Chen says.

Candy and sugary drinks only supply the body with sugar, Chen says, adding that excessive sugar intake causes obesity, metabolic disorders and dental caries, not to mention stimulating faster insulin secretion in the body, which destabilizes glucose levels and one’s overall emotions, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, certain studies have found that high sugar intake over a long period leads to addiction — just as difficult to quit as being addicted to alcohol — and possibly hindering a child’s cognitive development and affecting their learning ability, Chen says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. addiction n.

上癮;成癮;溺 (shang4 yin3; cheng2 yin3; ni4)

例: People obsessed with having the perfect body could develop an exercise addiction.

(一心想要有完美身材的人可能患運動成癮症。)

2. hinder v.

妨礙;阻礙 (fang2 ai4; zu3 ai4)

例: The bad weather has hindered us from having a picnic at the park.

(壞天氣阻礙我們的公園野餐。)

3. cognitive adj.

認知的 (ren4 zhi1 de5)

例: Studies show that obese children have slower cognitive function.

(研究指出肥胖兒童認知功能較差。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

根據國健署調查,國內百分之十九點五的受訪國小學童每天至少喝一次以上含糖飲料,而每天至少吃一次以上糖果或巧克力的受訪學童則有百分之七點八。

由於長期攝取高糖食物不僅會上癮,也影響學童身體健康及智力發展,國健署官員建議師長及父母,給兒童獎勵的禮物不要再用糖果或是巧克力,可以改用「擁抱」、「樂動」(快樂的戶外運動)及「營養」(多蔬果)取代。

國健署社區健康組長陳延芳表示,根據針對一千三十五名國小生所做「國民營養健康狀況變遷調查」結果顯示,百分之四十八點二受訪的國小學生每週至少喝一次含糖飲料,每天有喝至少一次以上的學童佔全體受訪學生的百分之十九點五;百分之四十一受訪的國小學生每週至少吃一次糖或巧克力,每天至少吃一次以上的受訪學童佔百分之七點八。

陳延芳指出,糖果及含糖飲料因只提供糖分,糖攝取過量不僅會造成肥胖、代謝異常與齲齒,也會刺激胰島素快速分泌,造成血糖與情緒不穩,增加心血管疾病風險;另外,也有研究發現,長期攝取高糖食物可能讓人吃上癮,而且就像酒癮一樣難戒除,還可能妨礙孩子的智力發展,影響學習力。

(自由時報記者魏怡嘉)

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