I haven't watched it yet but will do, I worry too about sugar. We eat FAR too much and my two are little sugar addicts, as is their dad!
I feel bound to point out, having worked in a market where statistics is all, that this programme as well as many others, is homing in on sugar as the 'latest' health scare. Before this we have had fat, salt, alcohol etc etc. All of these are dangerous substances when take TO EXCESS, but all are also perfectly acceptable as part of a diet practising 'moderation in all things'
I would also say that this sort of programme always looks at extremes. In a population of 65 million, you can have 100 children under ten having 6 teeth removed or (golly!) legs removed for Type 2 and its still an infinatissamally small proportion of the sugar eating population. This is not to say sugar in excess is not harmful and does not cause teeth to rot and consequent pain etc, BUT, the cases they show are very rare extremes to make a point.
All that said, tooth decay is a big problem, huge, on a lower scale and probably represents the possibility of a step back to the state of teeth before flouridation of water and top class toothpastes came along (many of our parents have false teeth, yes?).
Type 2 diabetes is also a huge worry and we are seeing younger and younger cases. Still extremes of course, and any parent who has a morbidly obese child is goign to be doing a lot more wrong with thier childrens diet than just giving them too much sugar. That kind of wrong feeding will also include habitual snacks, poor food and lack of exercise, all of which make type two diabetes a real and scary possibility.
I was watching footage of teenagers in the 70s and 80s the other day and it struck me how much thinner they all were. We all had an overweight teenager or two that we knew, but nowadays there are several in every class group, right from early primary, and what scares me is how it is becoming the 'new normal' and it is un-PC to talk about it. These 70s and 80s teenagers were wiry, stretched, gawky and pretty thin, but healthy. And not only was it less sugar, less fats (not consciously 'healthy' choices but just what was available) but it was also more exercise. Today?
-Less exercise (SCREENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) - I have a constant guilt trip because I restrict screens so much, sometimes my life feels like one long round of fun-sucking
-More sweets (when did your ds/dd last go on a sleepover where at least one of the participants DIDN'T turn up with sweets? The fact I neither send mine with them or let others bring them puts me yet again, in the fun-sucking category, see above
- A loss of the ability to be hungry. Now, if you are hungry, you eat. You don't wait until a meal comes around, you must eat. We indulge that - even i do it. I try not to, and I make it healthy stuff, but even so, we let them snack all the time.
- Fizzy drinks - in the 70s they were a sunday treat when dad put (God knows what) dye in the bottle of lemonade. Other than that, nothing, not even breakfast juice.
I am not being smug here. I am falling at every fence and give in to FAR MORE than I ever wanted to. It makes me miserable quite frankly (bad day), but I feel if I say no to all I want to (and frankly, should) I am constantly saying no, constantly. At least one of my children takes full advantage of that. Its exhausting.
But it aint just sugar (sure you aren't saying it it) and whilst I think these programmes are important, they do tend to devilise one element of diet as if curing that would be to cure all ills. The illness is permissive parenting, constant and non-stop availability of crap, peer pressure and a screen to remove all boredom.
Miserable of Warwickshire.