Carbs and Junk Food in Children's and Teenage Diet
Refined Unhealthy Carbohydrates - High Glycemic Index Values

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Carbs and Junk Food in Children's Diet

According to recent estimates, as many as 20-30 percent of American children are either overweight or suffer from obesity. In addition, rates of juvenile diabetes, as well as teenage eating-disorders, such as binge-eating, are climbing dangerously. Lack of physical exercise is also a growing concern.

Refined Carbohydrates, Sodas and Other Junk Foods

One of the causes of this upsurge in childhood and teenage obesity, is the over-consumption of refined carbs and junk food, encouraged by food advertising campaigns aimed at children. Refined carbs, being high-glycemic value foods, are now strongly associated with blood-sugar management problems, leading to increased risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

For example, consider these points:

Carbs and Refined Food Advertising

  • "The average American child sees 10,000* advertisements each year on television alone. 95 percent of these are for one of four types of foods: fast foods, sodas, candy-coated cereals and candy." (Kelly Brownell, Professor of Psychology, Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University.) [* 2004 estimates are as high as 30,000]

  • Fast food chains are now estimated to spend $3 billion on television advertising, per year. (Fast Food Nation, Schlosser E, 2001)

  • According to one US study the National Cancer Institute spent $400,000 on a campaign to encourage the eating of more fruit and vegetables. In the same year one cereal manufacturer spent an estimated $32 million dollars to advertise just one carb product - sugar-frosted flakes.

  • In a recent survey by the UK Food Commission, of 385 food products whose advertisements were aimed at children, only 10 percent could be regarded as "healthy", while over 75 percent contained excessively high levels of saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

  • Fast food manufacturers and soda manufacturers aim much of their food and drink advertising at children. For example, in 1996, the Walt Disney™ Company signed a 10 year global marketing agreement with the McDonald's™ Corporation. Corporations like Burger King™ and Coca-Cola™ sign advertising and supply contracts with US school authorities to boost fast-food and carb-rich soda sales among school children.

  • US researchers have found that the strongest predictor of weight gain in children aged 11-12 years, is the consumption of sodas - the classic high-glycemic-index food. Apparently, calories in liquid form appear to blunt the appetite less than calories in solid foods. (The Diet Bible, Wills J, 2001)

  • American kids (aged 6-14) eat in quick-serve restaurants 157 million times a month.(Eating Out Food Counter, by Natow and Heslin 1998).

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Insulin Resistance Syndrome provides general information about different types of carbohydrate, like monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, as well as nutritional value of carbohydrates, carb-content of foods, plus details of GI values of all food groups, plus advice about diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2018.