Food Is Not Your Enemy

Fourth Graders Shocked By Sugar
January 19, 2010, 10:36 am
Filed under: Chronic Disease, Sweets | Tags: , , , , ,

Last week I taught all the fourth grade science classes at P.S. 321 in Brooklyn about sugar. They already knew a lot about why sugar isn’t so good for us–in every class, someone raised their hand to say that their father/uncle/grandmother has diabetes and has to give themselves shots every day. One girl said her dad lost both his legs because of diabetes. The kids also talked about rotting teeth and feeling hyper from too much sugar.

What really shocked them, though, was how much sugar is in so many of the foods they like. I measured out 30 teaspoons of sugar and put it into a cup, showing them that this is the amount of sugar that the average American eats every day. They couldn’t believe it, and shouted out things like, “I don’t eat that much sugar!” But then the science teacher and I had them measure out the amount of sugar in a bottle of Vitamin Water, a bottle of Snapple, and a bottle of Orange Crush soda. The kids’ eyes widened with surprise as they saw the hills of sugar in front of them–eight teaspoons of sugar in the supposedly healthy Vitamin Water, 13 teaspoons in the Snapple, and 21 teaspoons in the Orange Crush. Suddenly they saw just how easy it is to consume even more than 30 teaspoons of sugar a day, just from their drinks.

Many of the kids seemed to be grossed out by what they discovered. Here’s to hoping they remember that feeling next time they’re choosing a drink with their lunch.

2 Comments so far
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My kids remembered, thanks!

Comment by Michael Ring

Michael, that’s great! It was fun to see your kids in class.

Comment by jcschonborn

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