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This is a question that I frequently get and that many parents of infants struggle with: Is it important for infants to eat gluten, ie bread and hot cereal, early in life?
Even today the official guidelines encourage parents to introduce foods with wheat early to reduce the risk of gluten intolerance. This is what the Swedish guidelines for infants include:
If the infant is given small amounts of gluten while still nursing, the risk that the child will be gluten intolerant is reduced. At no later than six months, and no earlier than four months, you should start giving the infant some gluten-containing foods… For example, you can let the infant have a bite of white bread or crackers or a small spoon of hot cereal or wheat-based formula a couple of times a week… After six months gradually increase the amount.
This assertive advice is unfortunately based only on uncertain statistics from questionnaire studies, i.e. observational studies. Such statistics prove nothing. The guideline-issuing authorities have a troublesome ability to sound certain without enough supporting evidence.
So is the advice above good or bad? Nobody knew before, but now this has finally been tested seriously.
The other week two critical studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine – the world’s most respected medical science journal. For the first time studies were designed to test whether the advice works. Continue Reading →
Why won’t the ice cream melt anymore?
An American woman got a surprise when her kid had left an ice cream outside in the sun – and it didn’t melt. A TV channel did their own tests and confirmed the finding. While real ice cream quickly melted, the cheap ice cream from Walmart didn’t melt.
The secret behind this is the ingredients: less real cream and more sugar and more stabilizing agents such as guar gum and cellulose gum.
According to the manufacturer, the non-melting ice cream is “healthy” and meets all requirements from FDA.
Besides, who doesn’t love the taste of warm gum in the summer?
How do you convince your child not to eat candy? This may be the most effective way ever.
The latter way of expressing it is just as correct, and more concrete and relevant for a child. Brilliant. Perhaps I’ll use it just like that.
What do you think? Continue Reading →
Here’s yet another birthday cake without added sugar or wheat flour, from Johanna B:
Here’s another picture of a melon cake from when my daughter turned 1. Melon with whipped cream surrounding a fruit salad in the middle.
All kids liked it, although some wondered where the cake was, so perhaps I’ll call it a fruit bomb next time. Got inspired by your blog post about the health cake!
All the best!
Could unruly kids with ADHD-like problems be hypersensitive to sugar and wheat? Here’s yet another story about what can happen when parents try to exclude such foods:
OK, let’s try this. We’ll skip wheat and sugar. We started at the beginning of the school year. No wheat flour and no sugar (either at school or at home). Three days later we already noticed a significant difference and now, 4 weeks later, we’re not the only ones cheering…
The original story here: ADHD or Too Much Sugar? (Google translated from Swedish)
Many experts have previously dismissed the association between sugar and ADHD. Studies designed to give children small amounts of sugar (up to a pint – half a liter – of soda) have not shown any significant short-term effect. But the effect of long-term use of large amounts of bad carbohydrates is unknown. And there’s a high-quality study that demonstrated a significant improvement from avoiding, among other things, sugar and wheat flour.
There are scientists who believe that ADHD symptoms are similar to withdrawal symptoms from drugs and thus may present because the child is addicted to junk food/sugar. If you remove this food, the problem would soon diminish, which seems to be a common experience among parents and teachers.
Do you have any experience with ADHD and a diet change? Continue Reading →
This is the entry to my grocery store. It’s time for one of many Song Festival Competition nights, selecting Sweden’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, and this means going face down in sugar. It’s only once a year!
Or wait, it’s not just once a year we’re binging on bad carbs. It’s every day we can find an excuse, that is, most days.
This is the real cause of children’s obesity. It’s not that they were born with stomachs that needed to be surgically removed, no matter what some think.
And no, children with a weight problem don’t need to eat candy and drink soda. Not even a little. Not at all. No more than a person with pulmonary disease needs to smoke a cigarette. No more than an alcoholic needs a drink.
What children with weight problems need is a home free of temptations, and to eat themselves satisfied on real food. Weight loss without hunger. Parents can provide the children that opportunity. Continue Reading →
Children under the age of 18 may now undergo weight-loss surgery in Sweden. In certain cases children as young as 13 will go under the knife!
There is no disease in the stomachs or intestines, which surgeons cut away from the children. They are healthy organs, that are being surgically removed. There’s something extremely sick in our society when methods this radical and extreme are required for children to maintain their weight.
The risks of long-term side effects are great. In adults who undergo weight-loss surgery the need for medical treatment increases long term. We know very little about the long-term consequences for children.
- MailOnline: As more teenagers have weight-loss surgery, a horrifying insight into the terrible price they pay as they grow up
- ABCNews: Obese Kids Going Under the Knife
The ethically bizarre in this is that the healthcare system rarely provides the best lifestyle treatment before resorting to major surgery.
A Swedish government expert committee recently concluded that advice on a low-carb diet provides more weight loss and better health markers than current calorie-obsessed advice does. At least as long as the advice is followed. Several new studies show that a low-carb diet also works better for children and adolescents.
Failing to provide support and advice on the most effective lifestyle therapy, before resorting to irreversible major surgery for children? That should be considered malpractice.
The health cake is catching on. A reader was inspired and made one for her daughter.
Here are the ingredients: Kid’s Birthday Party With No Added Sugar
Do you have pictures of great party foods to share? You’re welcome to post them on the Diet Doctor’s Facebook page.
A reader sent me the above picture, from a vacation trip to Tenerife. Milk was ordered for the kids and it came with two packages of sugar.
Do you think this was a mistake? Or do we assume that all kids are already little sugar addicts? Continue Reading →
Here’s an opinion piece in a Swedish morning paper, highlighting the fact that many hospitals have chosen not to offer any help to obese children:
DN Opinion: “Hospital Closes the Door on Obese Children” (Google translated from Swedish).
Prof. Claude Marcus and others are right that it’s terrible that hospitals fail children with serious medical problems. This is not acceptable. But the problem is even greater: The outcome in hospitals treating childhood obesity is woefully bad. Very few children are treated successfully.
In hospitals that do treat obese children, the treatment is usually based on the outdated idea “eat less, run more”. They seriously advise parents to limit their child’s food intake, dismissing the kids from the table still hungry. They’re then advised to try to make the kids run outside, despite not having had enough to eat.
At the same time they ignore study after study showing that children who eat their fill on a low-carb diet will lose more weight.
Because health care workers ignore inconvenient new knowledge, obese children and their parents are given advice that lead to worse outcomes and unnecessary suffering.
Today’s treatment for childhood obesity isn’t just child abuse. It’s family abuse.
Here’s a suggestion that may improve the situation within the health care system: Let go of the old dogmas about low-fat products and the oversimplified advice on energy balance. When childhood obesity treatment works this poorly, it’s time to wake up.
Here’s what might work better: Give the dietary advice that’s been proven best in scientific studies. Shouldn’t this be obvious? Continue Reading →
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