Banning sugary or unhealthy foods for children?

Discuss the March 2016 Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.

(Note, Carrie Rubin's previous book The Seneca Scourge was book of the month in December 2012. :) )
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Re: Banning sugary or unhealthy foods for children?

Post by chytach18- » 05 Mar 2016, 06:52

In the UK, schools are now obliged to give children healthy dinners. The schools do not give children salty or sugary food (that is when the child is eating the school dinner). It works! However, many children bring their own packed snacks to school (this is difficult to monitor, but the schools do their best). Sugary food is still the problem among families, and the government is trying to find the solution, which is very much unsolvable. For now, anyway.

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Post by Scott » 05 Mar 2016, 11:43

Regardless of the banning issue, this is an alarming demonstration. :(
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Post by gali » 05 Mar 2016, 11:48

Scott wrote:Regardless of the banning issue, this is an alarming demonstration. :(
It is alarming. We drink mostly water.
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Post by JanaeiAlexandria » 05 Mar 2016, 12:20

I think that if children are taught good eating habits at home as well as at school there is no need to ban unhealthy or sugary foods. Banning anything tends to make it that more intensing, teaching moderation is key. Children mimic what their parents and role models do. So when we practice good eating habits, they do as well.

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Post by MarieMc » 05 Mar 2016, 16:59

Government doesn't need to get into our (or our children's) eating habits. It would take martial law to enforce along with food lines where food is regimently given out by the government. I always knew what my children could handle and what they couldn't and I, me, myself was responsible for their food intake. If I didn't like the options on the scroll menu for that day, I sent food and no money. Parents need to take more initiative and responsibility for their children.... Don't hand them over to regulations.
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Post by abithacker » 05 Mar 2016, 17:33

If you watch the documentary Fed Up (it's on Netflix) it says a lot about this topic. Even though obesity in children is mainly contributed to food with high fat content, Fed Up argues that sugar is the main contributor to child obesity. One of the problems is that all of the low-fat 'healthy' options that the food industry has flooded the food market with are often very high in sugar, because without the fat content sugar is what make the food taste good. If all the data is true, it is unhealthy to give children lots of food with high sugar levels. Perhaps banning them is a bit drastic and probably would have serious repercussions on the economy, but restrictions in marketing and sugar levels would be a good start.

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Post by ash77atc » 06 Mar 2016, 11:04

I do not really like the term "banning" and think that education is the most powerful tool we have for this situation. Just like we teach that cigarettes are unhealthy and alcohol is dangerous when abused, sugar should be treated the same way. In my state, schools are not allowed to have sugary things in the vending machines. There are other options like granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and baked chips. Education is key because if we just fully remove these sugary substances and say "this is bad" then our children are not taught WHY and will most likely sneak treats or eat them when they get home. We can also look to manufacturers and demand that less sugar be added to items or demand natural sweeteners instead. Without pressure to make changes, they will continue to dump loads of sugar in products.

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Post by Sarah Penney » 06 Mar 2016, 12:08

I'm not sure if banning is realistic for all sugary or unhealthy foods for children. Because if you think about it, it would just be one more thing to add to the list of substances and habits for people to get into once they're adults, which, truth be told, isn't exactly good.

If a person did not have that sugar "tolerance" built up as a child and then suddenly they are subjected to all the "glories" of the junk food market, it could be more detrimental to their health than anything. For instance, if someone doesn't have a high concentration of sugar for a long time (say a year or two) and then they suddenly have a piece of chocolate birthday cake, they can get seriously sick.

However, I am all for having healthier school lunches. That certainly wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Post by Gravy » 07 Mar 2016, 02:53

There are many natural sweeteners. Agave, stevia, and more I can't think of. Thankfully they've gotten more popular.

I think the most important thing is that sweets, and other fatty foods are limited, and the diet is well balanced.
Kids are going to eat sweets if they want sweets, and the same for a burger and fries, or whatever. But a happy, healthy, emotionally stable kid, who is taught the right way to eat from an early age will always make better choices than a kid like Jeremy, who never really stood a chance.

Unfortunately, kids like Jeremy are far more common than they should be.
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Post by ashley_claire » 07 Mar 2016, 07:40

I agree with everyone that banning is impractical. I think the most you would be able to do is ban unhealthy food from school. But even that is impossible to enforce 100%. What if someone is diabetic and has to keep a snack on hand in case they need it? It just seems too difficult to enforce across the board without having to make individual exceptions.

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Post by Goms » 08 Mar 2016, 23:46

It will be nice if sugar intake is regulated for children because it causes tooth decay at the end of the day since children are usually not meticulous when it comes to brushing their teeth. I remember when I was a kid, my mom frowned at me taking sweets or chewing gum and that helped to curb my sweet tooth a lot.
I am glad she put her feet down on my cravings and now I think I will definitely do the same thing for my child. It pays in the long run. The government might not be able to do much to stop children from taking sugary stuff because if it's not illegal for adults, the adults will yield to the pleas of their kids and smuggle some cookies or candies for them. And there's not much the government can do about that.
The reason they have some success banning drugs is because drugs are illegal for the adults as well.

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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 09 Mar 2016, 06:22

Yeah I agree that banning isn't really what is needed. While education is good, it is still really hard to say no to something that tastes so good (and is addicting) even when you know it's bad for you. I think there should be more laws on what companies are allowed to put in the food they make. Preservatives, artificial colors, etc. are very harmful and should not be in our food! As far as sugar is concerned I think having limits on how much sugar is allowed to be in a single soda, candy bar, and even cereal, would be beneficial.

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Post by tortoise keeper » 09 Mar 2016, 13:05

It would be impossible to enforce a ban on junk food. If it were banned I know my son would just want it more because he wasn't supposed to have it. I know his school lunches are much healthier than they were when I was in school. I think that it is better to try and teach kids healthier lifestyles so they don't want the sugary foods as much in the first place.

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Post by LivreAmour217 » 09 Mar 2016, 13:36

JanaeiAlexandria wrote:I think that if children are taught good eating habits at home as well as at school there is no need to ban unhealthy or sugary foods. Banning anything tends to make it that more intensing, teaching moderation is key. Children mimic what their parents and role models do. So when we practice good eating habits, they do as well.
Exactly! Once we get adults to make healthy food choices, the children will fall in line.
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Post by HorrorFan87 » 10 Mar 2016, 16:20

Scott wrote:[This is a discussion topic for the March 2016 book of the month Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.]


When it comes to cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, or large doses of caffeine, it is generally illegal to give it to children or at least to sell it to them directly. Sugar is arguably more addictive and arguably leads to more deaths than many if not all of those other items. Do you want sugary or unhealthy foods to be banned for children in the same way? Why or why not?


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Absolutely not!!! In truth I think the same thing should be said of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and caffeine. I think for some of these things (say alcohol and smoking), they should only be given to someone at a certain age. (I am perfectly fine with someone who is 18 being able to smoke, although to be frank I think the habit is nasty and am so glad that I gave it up.) Sugar, however, is much like the rest of these "bad" addictive foods/drinks. Moderation is key. If we refuse to give kids sugar, I believe that when they do figure out what sugar tastes like, say like a piece of chocolate, they will go nuts with the taste and develop an even unhealthier alternative to if they had eaten a little bit of it to begin with. Not only that, but I do believe that some sugar is good for your diet. Being a type 1 diabetic, people find it amazing that I still eat cake, chocolate, etc. The thing people don't realize is that I need sugar. My blood sugar drops if I don't have it. As long as I take insulin for what I am eating or drinking and I don't have a ton of it, it's fine. The same can be said of Jeremy. You realize that in the story one of the "Fat Slayers" made a point of telling Jeremy not to cut out hamburgers and pizza, but to cut down on fast food to 3 times a month. That is a reasonable goal. It also claims that while sugar is not good to have all the time, it still can be enjoyed in moderation. So, do we refuse to give sugar to kids? No, I think they should be allowed to have a cookie here and there, or a piece of pizza. They needs the sugar in the carbohydrates to survive and maintain a healthy weight. I think taking sugar out of a diet is completely illogical and incredibly unfair to anyone. Just because you take sugar out does not make you healthy, and it certainly does not mean that sugar will not be replaced by something just as, if not more, unhealthy in the future.

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