Getting your child’s diet right ranks among your top priorities. Not only do you want to build good eating habits, but promote your child’s health. A new study suggests that sugary drinks and juices are harmful. This article provides the background and essential information for parents.
Study Scope: Examining the Link Between Soda Consumption and Brain Function in Children
Scientists researched the association between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and the executive brain function of kids between six and 12 years of age. Over 6,000 children participated, with parents monitoring and scoring Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). They found that children who drink sodas more than twice a week displayed poorer executive function.
Executive function affects learning ability and emotional behavior, meaning children who drink sugar-sweetened drinks more than twice weekly will have difficulty in both.
Sodas May Also Impair Memory in Adulthood
In a separate study, scientists concluded that too much sugar might also reduce memory function. They subsequently administered soda to adolescent rats and found they had memory problems, leading them to believe that the same may apply to children.
Scientists concluded that the decline in memory function was due to changes in gut flora after frequent soda consumption. Rats that hadn’t consumed sodas had Parabacteroides bacteria in their gut.
The researchers then studied the brain genes of rats that had drunk sodas, comparing them to those of rats that hadn’t. In rats that had consumed sugary beverages, the way nerve cells transmit signals was different, as was how molecular information travels internally.
The Importance of Limiting Sugar-Sweetened Drink Intake
Scientists from both studies highlighted the importance of reducing the sugar and soda consumption in children.