COVID-19 and Vaccine Information
Masks are still required in healthcare settings per CDC and state health department guidelines.
Zero—in the 5-2-1-0 plan to help kids build healthy habits—represents the daily goal to avoid sugary drinks.
“Sugar tastes good and is very appealing to children, but too much isn’t good for us,” says Misty Carlson, MD, pediatric cardiologist at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, in Springfield, Oregon, “and it’s easy to get too much.”
Natural sugars found in plants and other non-processed foods are fine as part of an overall balanced diet. However, many of us—including children—consume far more “added sugar” than we realize.
Among other things, added sugar which many sugar-sweetened beverages contain, is linked to
According to the CDC, sugary drinks are the leading sources of added sugars in the American diet.
Sugary drinks include regular sodas, fruit juices, chocolate drinks, flavored coffees and sports drinks. The CDC also notes that 63% of American adults aged 18 or older reported drinking sugar-sweetened beverages once daily or more.
And it’s not just sugar.
“Artificial sweeteners can be just as bad even though they don’t have sugar or calories,” says Dr. Carlson. Among other things, they can make us crave more sweetened foods and lead to weight gain. “For a host of reasons, it’s best to avoid drinks that are artificially sweetened.”
Tips to help kids avoid sugary drinks:
Talk with your child’s pediatrician at the next office visit about strategies for making step-by-step changes that will stick.
This article is the fifth and final post in a series about the 5-2-1-0 approach to promoting healthy habits.