Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Too much sugar hurting kids’ health and cognition

A collection of sugary drinks is pictured in Taipei on Aug. 29 last year.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Liberty Times

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.


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.


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.


3. cognitive adj.

認知的 (ren4 zhi1 de5)

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


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)






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