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Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Kids love sweet things - and the temptations are endless. But indulging in sugary treats too often during childhood can lead to serious problems.

Consuming too much sugar can not only lead to unnecessary weight gain, but a whole host of other issues: obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, to name a few! A high sugar intake can also increase the risk of problems later in life, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, mood disorders, bone and joint problems, and more. In fact, a recent study found that eating too much fat and sugar as a child can have a lifelong impact on gut microbiota, the ‘friendly’ bacteria that live in the intestines. Sugar can alter these bacteria for years, even if kids try to eat healthily again later in life.

If you thought that was bad, consider that one of the leading causes of tooth decay in children is soft drinks. The combination of sugar and acidity can break down tooth enamel very quickly.

So, what about artificial sweeteners?

Unfortunately, these are no better. Sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, and high fructose corn syrup provide sweetness without calories, but they have zero health benefits. One study found that kids who regularly drank artificially sweetened drinks ended up with a 47% in their body mass index (BMI) compared to those who didn’t. Another study revealed that high fructose corn syrup may affect hippocampal function - the part of the brain that plays an important role in learning and memory formation during a child’s development.

And, like sugar, artificial sweeteners can damage the ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut, and may even turn them into the harmful kind. This can seriously affect the body’s immune response to viruses and other germs.

If nothing else, eating too many sugary foods can mean that kids are more likely to turn down healthy foods, either because they feel too full or they develop a preference for sweet taste. This can set them up for unhealthy cravings or poor eating patterns as they grow older.

Growing kids do need some sugar in their diet. Nutritional guidelines in New Zealand recommend that children aged between seven and 10 shouldn’t have any more than 24g of sugar a day, while kids aged 4-6 shouldn’t have any more than 19g.

Kids should also be able to have fun! That’s why we created Noughty.

Nought is a low-sugar fizzy drink made with real fruit extracts and sweetened only with NZ apples, from a very small amount of apple juice concentrate. And it contains only 2.4g of sugar!

Even better, Noughty contains a host of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to support growing bodies and minds: calcium, Vitamins B6, C, and D, and iodine. All packed into one sweet serving.

No wonder Noughty is the fizzy drink that both parents and kids love!

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