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Chapter 4

Candy Floss

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Theme

Sugar 

Diabetes 

Dental Heath

In this chapter TG learns all about sugar and how it isn't good for you if you eat too much.

 

He meets Candy Floss. She owns the Giant Humbug where she makes and sells all sorts of sweets and wants children to eat loads of them.

She has false teeth because she ate too many sweets and has developed Type 2 diabetes and needs insulin to keep her blood sugar levels under control.

Below you'll find some background information for parents and teachers on these topics.

It is offered as a starting point for discussion with children. 

Does my body need sugar?

You may have guessed but the answer is yes and no. Yes we do need glucose for energy but we can get plenty of that in a whole food diet. No we do not need free sugars. Free sugars are those that are not naturally in food - those that you add to food. This includes honey and syrups, which are formed naturally but are concentrated sugars.

 

The average adult today consumes about three times the recommended amount of sugar a day. And the story is similar for children. It’s no wonder that diabetes, obesity and tooth decay are on the rise. 

 

Refined sugar is empty calories, in other words it does not provide your body with any nutrients.

 

Honey and the sugars found in dates and figs are packaged up with vitamins and minerals. That is why I prefer to cook using these types of sugars in my baking.

 

The government recommends that free sugars – sugars added to food or drinks, and sugars found naturally in honey, syrups, and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purées – should not make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) you get from food and drink each day.

This means:

  • Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes)

  • Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes).

  • Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).

  • There's no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it's recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it. 

Free sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the sugary foods we should cut down on.

For example, a can of cola can have as much as 9 cubes of sugar – more than the recommended daily limit for adults.

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate

To find out more about sugars and carbohydrates in general 

Diabetes

The last few decades have seen the first cases of Type 2 Diabetes in children in the UK. 

Previously only adults developed it hence it was termed 'adult onset diabetes'.

This dangerous situation is mainly caused by the rapid rise in childhood obesity.

A short explanation of what diabetes is can be found on my nutrition page or 

Dental Health

A child dental survey in 2019 found that nearly a quarter of 5 year olds had obvious dental decay.

This is quite shocking. This situation seems to have been caused by children being given far too many sweet things and call them treats. however, a treat is something we have occasionally. Many children have sweet treats every day. Accompanied by poor dental hygiene, is a recipe for disaster as far as their teeth are concerned.

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She had a plump, round face, and a wide, full mouth generously smeared with bright pink lipstick, contrasting starkly with flashing white false teeth that wobbled every now and again as she spoke.