Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sugar and Spice but Not Everything Nice!

So I made a few comments in my first video about sugar content in the meals we’ve tried so far and promised you a little more background on why that was important. SO welcome to the Sugar mini-lesson. When we read the whopping sugar tallies on the back of the boxes, 36 grams and 27 grams respectively, we got really worried on where the sugar was in the meal. So we went digging for a little bit more information…

First of all a gram of sugar is equal to one quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.

We decided to do some research on the Chicken Dunk Meal first and break down what constituted those 36 grams. We discovered that a Fruit Punch Capri Sun had 16 grams of sugar according to the Capri sun website. The box of nerds according to “My fitness pal” had 12. This adds up to a whopping 28 grams of sugar. But the box said 36 grams! So that means that either the chicken or the sauce added up to 8 grams where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it to hide. When College Kid 2 further inspected the ingredients list we found sugar, or some other name for it, in almost every single aspect of the meal. 

In the pizza meal we saw the whopping 27 grams of sugar. So let’s analyze this pizza box by pizza box.

We’ll start with extra cheesy. The pacific cooler juice drink had 16 grams of sugar, the mini Air Head held an additional six grams, bringing us up to 23 grams of sugar and leaving 4 grams of sugar, mostly in the pizza sauce.

The pepperoni pizza meal had a 16 gram of sugar fruit punch drink and a six gram of sugar mini Crunch bar, leaving the same 4 grams of sugar for sauce and other assorted elements.

So that’s a lot of fun numbers but what does it mean? Well let’s take a look at the recommended amount of sugar for kids in a day. The American Heart Association recommends preschoolers to have 16.7 or less grams of sugar a day, ages four to eight to have 12.5 grams or less per day, and preteens and teenagers are to have between 21 to 33 grams of sugar per day. So let’s take a reflection minute!!!! This means that our Lunchables Chicken Dunks, which is ONE “meal”, already goes above EVERY SINGLE RECCOMENDATION. And most likely, you won’t even be full. 

Now the pizza ones both had 27 grams of sugar, so we’re still blowing it for the younger kids. But if you want to start pushing the daily amount for teenagers, you can fit it in if you are very careful for the rest of your day. Still for the amount of food you get, the amount of sugar inside is ridiculous. 

But why does sugar matter? Who cares? It’s just a number right? What does sugar do to a child’s developing mind and body? Well according to Kathy Johnson, a writer for a health and wellness site called “She knows”, it effects children in four primary ways. 1) Tooth decay, 2) Problems with behavior. 3) Obesity and weight problems and 4) Leading to diabetes.

Also, think about it guys, If we’re eating something totally high in sugar and low in most other nutrients, then we won’t have the correct nutrition to continue to function either in school or whatever else we happen to be doing. 

So let’s bring it back to the two meals we ate so far, the Chicken Dunk Lunchables and the Pizza Lunchables. If we’re spending more than our daily recommendation of sugar on ONE Meal, then how far over are we really going if we take the WHOLE DAY into consideration? We need to be conscious of how much sugar we put into ourselves and work to improve our dietary choices. 

Also guys! Sugar comes in a LOT of names. For example looking down the chicken dunk ingredients list here are different words that all mean, In essence, sugar: High Fructose Corn Syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, and any form of juice concentrate but especially white grape, apple, and pear. So on two boxes we have six different ways of saying sugar, and those are just the ones I caught. Looking for more words that mean sugar? And believe me there are a lot. Here’s a handy link to help you decipher the ingredient label. Sugar's Many Disguises

College Kid 1

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