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Another Pandemic: Food Pandemic | Understand the Importance of Reading Food Labels

Research suggests that high sugar consumption can lead to hyperactivity, attention deficits and mood swings in children | Artificial additives and preservatives commonly found in processed foods have been linked to disruptive behaviour and cognitive impairments

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- April 13th 2024 04:18 PM
Another Pandemic: Food Pandemic | Understand the Importance of Reading Food Labels

Another Pandemic: Food Pandemic | Understand the Importance of Reading Food Labels

PTC Web Desk: In recent times, the world has become increasingly aware of the potential health hazards associated with the consumption of processed and packaged foods. This heightened awareness stems from the growing concerns surrounding the contents of these foods, including high levels of sodium, sugar, and artificial additives. A workshop on food label reading brought to light some startling revelations about the impact of such foods, particularly on children's health.

The workshop, conducted by renowned child specialist Dr Vikram Bedi from Bedi Hospital, Chandigarh, provided a comprehensive overview of the potential risks associated with commonly consumed snacks and treats such as chips, candies, and even popular chocolates like Kinder Joy. Through an in-depth analysis of food labels, Dr  Vikram Bedi showcased the high levels of sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats present in these products, raising concerns about the implications for children's health.


High Sodium and Sugar Content

One of the key points raised during the workshop was the alarming levels of sodium and sugar found in snacks and treats targeted at children. Dr Vikram Bedi highlighted how excessive consumption of sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues, while high sugar intake can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and dental problems, and even cancer.

The workshop emphasised the importance of being vigilant when reading food labels, as many packaged foods contain hidden sources of sodium and sugar. For instance, snacks such as chips and crackers may appear harmless, but they can contain significant amounts of salt, while seemingly innocent candies can be loaded with sugar.

Impact on Children's Health

Beyond the physical health risks, the workshop also explored the potential behavioural and developmental effects of consuming foods high in sugar and artificial additives. Dr Vikram Bedi discussed the possible link between excessive sugar intake and autism spectrum disorders, as well as other issues in children.

The correlation between diet and behavioural changes in children has become a growing area of concern. Research suggests that high sugar consumption can lead to hyperactivity, attention deficits, and mood swings in children. Similarly, artificial additives and preservatives commonly found in processed foods have been linked to disruptive behaviour and cognitive impairments.

The Importance of Reading Food Labels

The workshop underscored the critical importance of reading food labels to make informed choices about the foods we consume and serve to our families. Dr Vikram Bedi provided valuable insights into how to interpret nutritional information on labels, such as understanding serving sizes, identifying hidden sources of sugar and sodium, and recognising artificial additives.

Attendees learned practical strategies for choosing healthier options, such as opting for products with lower sugar and sodium content and avoiding those with artificial colors, flavours, and preservatives. Additionally, the workshop highlighted the benefits of selecting whole foods and minimally processed products whenever possible.

The Call for Action

Dr Vikram Bedi called on consumers to be more vigilant about the foods they purchase, emphasising the need for greater awareness and education on the impact of diet on health. He also urged food manufacturers to take responsibility by offering healthier products with transparent labeling.

The workshop concluded with a call to action for policymakers to strengthen regulations on food labeling and marketing practices, particularly those targeting children. Clearer labeling requirements and stricter limits on sugar, sodium, and artificial additives in foods could help mitigate the risks associated with the emerging food pandemic.

- PTC NEWS

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