Fri, Mar 29, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Doctor says parents must watch sugar intake of children

By Su Meng-chuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Parents should disregard “myths” about the health properties of food for their children and should consult nutritional information on product packaging instead, a doctor at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taichung Hospital said on Friday last week.

The hospital recently admitted a child in the sixth grade who had sore knees and was obese, said Chen Min-kung (陳敏恭), a doctor in the pediatric department.

A normal sixth grader should have a body mass index of less than 22, but the child’s was 30, Chen said.

The symptoms were due to the patient’s love of milk tea with his breakfast and an irregular eating schedule to accommodate cram-school classes, he said, adding that the student would snack on pastries and more milk tea in the afternoons.

The family tried giving the student yogurt and sports drinks instead of milk tea, thinking that they were healthy, Chen said.

However, such products often have too much sugar, Chen said.

Some sports drinks contain 6.5g of sugar per 100cc, while yogurt products can have 10g of sugar per 100cc.

Children aged five to 10 should limit their intake of sugar to 20g to 25g per day, Chen said.

Having a drink with high sugar content before a meal can trick the body into thinking it is not hungry due to increased blood sugar levels, Chen said, adding that such drinks after a meal can lead to obesity.

The patient had high levels of glycated hemoglobin and showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome, Chen said, adding that with a proper diet and strict control of blood sugar, some improvement was seen.

Parents should be careful of giving soft drinks to their children and read nutrition information carefully, Chen said.

Children should not drinksproducts that have a sugar content of more than 5g per 100cc, he said.

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