Sweet Tooth A Growing Pain?

There's no doubt that adolescents have a fondness for sugary treats that most adults could never stomach. Recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior suggests that an older and wiser understanding of healthy eating might not be the only distinguishing trait at play here.

Scientists analyzed the taste preferences of 143 children between the ages of 11 and 15. They found that children who were undergoing a growth spurt were much more likely to favor the sweetest beverage choice available. Developmental activity was determined through urinary analysis for Type I Collagen, a biomarker of bone growth.

The Bigger Picture: As the theory goes, growing children use a lot of calories, and their bodies respond with a preference for calorie dense treats. That doesn't mean you should provide an over abundance of sugar. Around 33% of American children aged 6 to 11 are considered overweight. Try substituting fruits for candy as a nutritious low-calorie sweet. If your kids refuse, keep trying. Children might have to be exposed to a food item as many as 15 times before they'll accept it.
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