Why Kids Pick Sweeter Treats
In Newsweek, there is an article that attempts to explain why children pick certain treats over others. This is especially relevant as we have just completed one of the worst holiday traditions in our history, Halloween. We pass out sugary treats to young children sending their blood sugar spiraling out of control and setting them up for myriad health issues as they age.
The author was surprised to see that children seemed to prefer smaller sweeter items, like lollipops and Tootsie Rolls, for example, over larger treats, such as chocolate bars. There were many explanations offered but one of them caught my eye:
Younger children are also more likely to go for the sweeter, sugary taste of lollipops, Skittles, and other gummy candies than they are a rich chocolate treat, Wasink says. While both adults and children have roughly the same number of tastebuds, children have smaller tongues, meaning that their tastebuds are more concentrated, and thus they’re able to experience more intense flavor in sugary, fruity flavors. “For little kids, a sugary thing like that tastes a lot better than it does to us,” says Wansink. (This also explains, says Childs, why children are more likely to seek out candy with “extreme” sour flavors.)
Before insulin resistance sets in, our cells are very receptive to insulin and it’s ability to shuttle sugar into them. It’s only later when some of those cells begin to burn out that insulin turns to shuttling sugar into triglycerides and fat tissue. The pancreas works overtime to deliver more and more insulin but once the cells begin to die, there is more circulating insulin and more damage. This would explain why children can eat such bad foods with seeming autonomy whereas an older person would gain several pounds after one night of binging on sweets. Once they become addicted to the substance, which started long ago when they were babies and even in the womb, sugar stimulated the same area of their brains that cocaine stimulates. What addict do you know that would take a more watered down version of their drug of choice versus the purer stuff?
Carbohydrates are the problem and this holiday only makes it that much more difficult for children later in life. They are destined to go through life as addicts, looking for the latest sweet fix or battling chronic health problems. Their dulled senses are indicative of a body breaking down prematurely, not more “enlightened” taste buds. They only appreciate how sweet sugar is when they stop consuming it for a time.
Parents have to get serious about their children’s health and reduce their children’s sugar consumption by any means necessary.Share on Twitter