Monday, January 02, 2006

Sugar May Lessen Pain in Some Children

Some experts believe sugar -- one of the most health-harming substances you can consume -- acts as an analgesic (pain reliever) in some children. A recent study seems to link the "relief" to the child's affinity for sweets and their body weight.

In the study, some 200 children ranging from ages 5-10 and their mothers were evaluated to determine their sucrose preferences. On the whole, children preferred higher levels of sweetness than adults. About half the youngsters (and one quarter of the adults) preferred a sweetness concentration of 14 teaspoons per 8-ounce glass.

After measuring their tolerance for pain using a cold pressor test (indicates how long subjects can keep their hands in 50 degree water), the children who preferred higher levels of sucrose experienced less pain. However, the overweight and at-risk to be overweight did not have the same tolerance increase.

Although the sugar and pain parallels are interesting, this should not be read as, "Give your child sugar when he or she hurts." There are countless ways sugar can be harmful to adult and children's health. In fact, you'll probably be surprised just how much sugar your kids are already consuming, particularly from sweet drinks. This leads to a plethora of problems including childhood obesity – a major cause of serious illness.
EurekAlert December 15, 2005

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