Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Health Risks Of Gummy Bears

You can give sweets, like gummy bears, to children as an occasional treat

Gummy bears and other gelatin-based sweets can be eaten without concern, if they are treated as an occasional treat, i.e. once a week. However, they are made mostly from glucose syrup, sugar and gelatin, all of which can be extremely harmful to different parts of the body if eaten often. Try to ensure you or your child see these sweets as a treat and not as part of a daily diet.

Sugar Content Health Risks

Gummy bears have a high sugar content, including highly refined sugars such as sucrose, dextrose and high-fructose corn syrup. Consuming a lot of refined sugar can raise insulin levels and inhibit the release of growth hormones. This, in turn, may stop the immune system from operating properly. Increased insulin levels can, over time, lead to diabetes.

Health Risk to Teeth

Eating too many gummy bears or other high-sugar foods can lead to problems with your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and brush them after eating sugary snacks such as gummy bears.

Health Risks and Weight Gain

Ten average gummy bears contain approximately 69 calories, 1.2 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates and no fat. Because of the low fat content, sometimes individuals think that gummy bears will not make them gain weight. If sugar enters the body and the calories are not burned off, however, the extra calories will be converted to fat. Consider the calories you get from gummy bears as part of your recommended daily calorie intake.

Choking Health Risks

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, gummy bears and other small sweets are a potential choking hazard. Supervise children who are eating these types of sweets carefully. You may want to tell them to suck the sweets rather than chew them, and make them sit still while eating gummy bears instead of allowing them to run around to lessen the chance of choking.

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