38 Teaspoons of Sugar for Breakfast?

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, but that is what it is.  The alternative post to this is 1.5 litres of Raspberry fizz for breakfast!  As I was off to school the other day, I saw a young man on his way to school swigging down a bottle of Raspberry fizz, soda or pop whatever you may call it. Image  The average raspberry bottle of fizz has 155 gms of sugar in it  (1.5 litres, at 4 gms per teaspoon the rest is pure maths.  Now I may be jumping to an assumption that this was all that this young man had for breakfast however that is immaterial really.  I watched him drink this bottle on his way to school.

Now the total price of this fantastic nutritious start to the day is 97c, less than one dollar!  Now the question to be asked is what does that do for an young persons learning (let alone their health).

The Jury is still out around the effects of food colours on behaviour, however there is evidence surfacing that links certain food colourings to behavioural disorders.  The effect of too much sugar on young people and children, well just ask any parent about that. Here in New Zealand we face a looming diabetes crisis http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10888444.  This is linked to growing obesity rates in New Zealand.

There are some people who are convinced that processed sugars are the root of many evils.  I have not done any research around this at all but accept that sugar in excess is not a good thing at all and in my own weight loss journey I have become a label reader.  I don’t eat very much refined sugar at all.  I certainly don’t add it to my hot drinks, I drink sugar free cool drinks when I am having one, although I confess to drinking the occasional wine and beer. .  Like all things, moderation is the key but back to where i was.  I had decided to write a blog about a bottle of fizz for breakfast and had left it for a while till I came across a bottle in the corridor.  There is currently debate about food (in particular breakfasts in school)  There is a significant number of children whom live in poverty (relative poverty ) in New Zealand.

Now we can bluster about whose fault this is till the cows come home but in the end that doesn’t change anything for children who come to school without breakfast that is nutritious and healthy.  We have to decide as a nation are we going to invest in the health of our children and leave the ideology at the door.  We also need to look long and hard at the food that we sell in our school canteens. This has been done in the past but the legislation was wiped under the guise of freedom of choice.  That is all fine and well however we have to start somewhere.

Is there a place for soft-drinks at school?  Of course then the whole debate occurs around other foods, pies are considered high in fat and of dubious nutritional value do we ban them?  Children will be children I here the echoes now.  From where I stand I can only say that a bottle of raspberry fizz for breakfast is a disaster waiting to happen for so many reasons ranging from  dental health to behavioural issues. I guess that 99.99 % of the people that read this blog would not contemplate allowing their children to consume such a breakfast but what can we do to change this.

I am not sure what we can do, but when 97c is all it takes to get a massive sugar fix, then that is probably a good place to start, a sugar tax?  Maybe with all the money going to support food education and food in schools. I remember when I was a kid, soft-drinks were a luxury that was an occasional special treat because of their cost.  Food for thought perhaps?

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One response to “38 Teaspoons of Sugar for Breakfast?

  1. and then try walking into a supermarket to buy “real” food. it is really hard to find the basic ingredients for a good nutritious diet in amongst all the various forms of pre-processed food products.
    The other week I went into the New World at the Wellington Railway Stn to buy a packet of dates on the way home (so I could do some home baking that night). Having found the little section devoted to what we used to know as “groceries” I followed a similarly bewildered middle aged man with a single banana in his hand trying to figure out where the dates were. I am not sure if he found what he was looking for! But has left me with a mental image of people who want to buy real food from a supermarket.
    Anyway, originally, I was going to say how painful it was to see the TV shots of the food programme being rolled out to NZ schools – to think that we really have got to the point where that is needed (and I have no doubt it is). And then see the Marlborough Express cartoons. Where are the cartoons based on Oliver Twist? When will we figure out that something has gone seriously wrong in our society and economy?

    Like

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