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Amsterdam’s Solution to the Obesity Crisis: No Fruit Juice and Enough Sleep

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Amsterdam has been successful when it comes to effectively fighting childhood obesity. The number of children with overweight and obesity dropped by twelve percentage units between 2012 and 2015:

The Guardian: Amsterdam’s Solution to the Obesity Crisis: No Fruit Juice and Enough Sleep

So what’s the recipe for their success? Well, mainly a ban on sugary fruit juice in an attempt to reduce sugar consumption:

“All children have to bring water or milk to school,” he said. “No juice. A lot of parents were really upset. We had really hard discussions with them.” The parents thought juice or even squash was healthier, assuming they contained fruit. The teachers told them about the sugar. “I told them we were doing them a favour. They could have water at school and then juice at home. Now it’s normal – not a problem.”

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Gary Taubes: Treating Sugar Like Cigarettes Key for Children’s Health

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The British government is doing too little to combat rising issues with childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, argues Gary Taubes. Relying on voluntary sugar reduction won’t solve the massive problems – but treating sugar like cigarettes could get the job done:

Let’s use cigarettes and lung cancer as our pedagogical example, confident, as we are, that cigarettes cause lung cancer. Cigarette consumption in the UK peaked in the mid-1970s when half of all men smoked and over 40% of women. Together they averaged 17 cigarettes a day. Now let’s imagine that we didn’t get those smokers to quit, but we managed to cut their consumption by 20%. Instead of 17 cigarettes a day, they’re averaging 14.

Would we expect to see a decrease in lung cancer prevalence? Would we expect that the lung cancer epidemic would be curbed at all, let alone within a few years of peak consumption? I would wager that even the PHE authorities would acknowledge that such a change would have little effect.

The Guardian: For Children’s Health, the Government Has to Treat Sugar Like Cigarettes

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Professor Reverses His Type 2 Diabetes by Skipping Breakfast

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According to biochemistry professor Terence Kealey, carb-rich breakfasts puts people at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity.

And he has apparently had great success following his own advice to skip the morning meal, reversing his own type 2 diabetes by doing so:

Mail Online: Time to Ditch the Cereal? Expert Claims Eating Breakfast Is Dangerous and Forcing Children to Eat It Is ‘Child Abuse’

Regarding the question what one should do about children who don’t want to have breakfast, he advises parents not to force them: “I would let the kids decide for themselves if they want breakfast. Lots of kids don’t want to eat breakfast.”

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Children Eating Excessive Amounts of Sugar Develop Diseases Associated with Alcoholism

White sugar

Children are now developing fatty liver (which used to mainly affect alcoholics) and type 2 diabetes, as a result of excessive sugar consumption.

This is a terrible trend that Dr. Robert Lustig predicts might bring about the downfall of the social security and healthcare systems, unless some drastic measures are taken to combat this:

Business Insider: Children Who Eat Too Much Sugar Are Developing Diseases That Only Alcoholics Used to Get

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Healthy Food for Your Family


4.7 out of 5 stars5 stars83%4 stars3%3 stars10%2 stars3%1 star0%30 ratings1,794 viewsIf you’re a parent and you want to help your family to eat more healthy foods and fewer refined carbs… what should you do? It’s not always easy. Jenni Calihan has plenty of experience trying, and she blogs about it at EatTheButter.org.

Watch a segment above (transcript). The full, longer video is on our member site:

Healthy Food for Your Family – Jenni Calihan

Join free for a month to get instant access to this and hundreds of other low-carb TV videos. Plus Q&A with experts and our awesome low-carb meal planner service.

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A High Carb Intake During Pregnancy Associated with Childhood Obesity

Pregnant woman enjoying of eating chocolate

Not great?

Eating plenty of carbs and sugar during pregnancy might put your child at greater risk of becoming obese in the future, according to a new observational study:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Associations of Maternal Macronutrient Intake During Pregnancy with Infant BMI Peak Characteristics and Childhood BMI

This study doesn’t prove cause and effect, since it is merely based on statistical correlations. But it’s still interesting. Note that the amounts of protein and fat that women ate during pregnancy were not associated with markers of future childhood obesity.

So if you want to err on the safe side, I’d recommend a diet based on real food, and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

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Secondhand Sugars: “Sugar Isn’t That Different to Smoking for Pregnant Women”

Waiting for a miracle

Can you really compare smoking cigarettes to eating sugar during pregnancy? Apparently. New research suggests that excessive simple sugars have the power to harm children’s development and health – just like smoking:

We are finding that sugar exposure can begin to affect a child even before birth. The sugars that a mother consumes while pregnant or nursing can be passed to her baby, disrupt healthy growth and development and pose risk for obesity.

Secondhand sugars? Considering how that concept played out with smoking, Big Sugar can not be happy about hearing those words…

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Meta-Analysis: Physical Activity Not Effective for Treating Overweight Children

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Focusing on physical activity has no effect on treating childhood overweight and obesity, according to a new meta-analysis.

Not only is exercise not very helpful in controlling weight in the first place. It also turns out that overweight kids don’t really increase their physical activity in studies that try to get them to do so:

Obesity Review: Effectiveness of Interventions on Physical Activity in Overweight or Obese Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Including Studies with Objectively Measured Outcomes.

This means a double failure for the simplistic “let’s move” mentality.

Once again: you can’t outrun a bad diet. And kids, it seems, can’t even be forced to run in the first place (if anyone really thought that was a good idea).

Please note that I’m not advocating for sedentary lifestyles. I’m just pointing out that the ‘eat less, run more’ dogma is outdated. Physical activity is important for health, but has a negligible effect on weight.

There’s likely only one way to massively improve the childhood obesity problem. Make sure that kids get to grow up in a healthy food environment, without added sugars in everything.

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‘Frightening’ Surge in Obesity-Related Disease Among Children

Doctor Teddy bear

A recent study by FAIR Health finds a ‘frightening’ spike in obesity-related disease among children.

The findings are “frightening,” Dr. Stephen Pont, a pediatrician and medical director of the childhood obesity center at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, told NPR News.

“The vast majority of kids should never have high blood pressure or diabetes or sleep apnea,” said Pont. “Now we’re seeing those consequences in kids. That will result in shorter lives and lower quality of life.”

Newsmax: Study: Sharp Spike in Obesity-Linked Diagnosis Among Kids, Teens

It is about time to recognize that what we’ve been doing for decades is just exacerbating problems with obesity, and truly hurting children.

Eating less and running more is rarely an effective long-term strategy – especially not for growing kids. What’s more important is the quality of the food we eat.

Kids with weight issues may be far better helped helped by real food, lower in refined carbs and sugar.

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Sugar Is the ‘Alcohol of the Child’, Yet We Let It Dominate the Breakfast Table

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There’s a reason why there is an age limit on alcohol consumption – it’s toxic in large doses and can do damage to both the brain and liver.

We need to look at sugar in the same way, says professor Robert Lustig, and stop feeding our children sugar-filled breakfast that harms them:

The Guardian: Sugar Is the ‘Alcohol of the Child’, Yet We Let It Dominate the Breakfast Table

It’s wise to really start reading labels carefully to avoid unnecessary sugar, and remember that some common culprits are cereal, sweet yogurts and infant or toddler food.

Alternatively, just serve your child a real, homemade breakfast. Get some inspiration below.

Real breakfasts

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