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Will depriving kids of sugary treats make them fat adults?

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  • Will depriving kids of sugary treats make them fat adults?

    I'm wondering about this. My mom never bought sugary snacks, or chips or any of those yummy things my friends all seemed to have in their house. My dad was the baker of treats but was only allowed to bake once or twice a month. Whenever we did have treats in the house we gorged on them. Food was low fat, no/low salt and not very good. Boiled chicken breast with no salt and a little pepper with a side of iceberg, tomato and a piece of wonder bread, anyone?When I moved out I was able to buy my own food, food with flavor! Of course I gained weight and even though I eventually switched to very healthy home cooked meals, kept gaining. Whenever there is candy or cookies around I want to eat all of it. It's a very powerful compilation that I'm still working on. The drive to eat all the treats near me has gotten much better since going primal.

    Anyway I'm wondering if by strictly limiting or all together eliminating traditional kid treats from my children's diets, will they leave my house as adults and binge on junk? It seems like all the kids I grew up with that were surrounded by junk are thin and healthy adults. They aren't tempted by junk because its always been all around them.

  • #2
    Having no children, I can't say for sure. But, my parents never made a habit of keeping sweet stuff around the house. Occasionally my mom would toss a mini Kit Kat into my lunchbox, but that was about it. I didn't feel like I was being deprived of anything, it just wasn't around. But my mom also never boiled chicken. Ew.

    Maybe if your kids eat enough real food with real flavor, they won't feel desperate for the stimulation of candy. They might not develop a sweet tooth at all because they won't feel like they've been deprived of flavor in their regular meals. Just a thought.

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    • #3
      I'm guessing it can go either way. The problem in most households with treats is that they aren't treated like treats. Kids eat sugar for breakfast in cereals marketed toward children. Some parents don't know how to say stop, so the old fashioned scene of June Cleaver telling the boys they could have two cookies when they came home from school becomes one of latch key kids or a parent too tired to tell them to stop. IOW, treats aren't treats, they become a mainstay in the child's diet.

      I think treats in their proper context aren't bad. And perhaps you could make most treats healthier than pre-made junk from the store. Look at the recipes for different Paleo cookies, desserts, etc. There are tons of them.

      Moderation is often frowned upon, but I also believe that repression leads to obsession. All of this is just my opinion because I've seen kids become carbon copies of their parents' eating habits, and kids that reject their parents' eating habits totally.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

      B*tch-lite

      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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      • #4
        I grew up under similar circumstances. No treats allowed in the house, bad tasting food, when treats were allowed they were severely restricted, when not restricted they were eaten with abandon. I grew up fatter than my sister. My sister could have been a model. I read my mom's diary from her pregnancy and birth of me and the first time I was breastfed my mother thought (and wrote in her diary) "what a little piggy". I think that this perhaps had more to do with it than what kinds of foods were available. A subtle expectation/pressure/loathing of me and my appetite. I never got as fat as a lot of kids these days, though.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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        • #5
          Interesting hypothesis. Growing up, we never had soda or sugary treats around the house except on special occasions and we were all rail thin. We got to have a soda maybe once a week if we were good. Otherwise it was water or homemade iced tea. Will be interesting to read the responses you get from this post.

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          • #6
            YMMV.

            We have a low sugar household, and all our kids are much bigger/healthier than their peers. But they also can pack away treats/desserts when we are at some public event (where we don't regulate their intake).

            We're just trying to emphasise listening to your body, and stopping when you feel you've had enough.
            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

            Griff's cholesterol primer
            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
            bloodorchid is always right

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            • #7
              Honestly, it can go either way. Some kids can and will listen to their parents when they explain that sweets are to be eaten in limited quantities, others will use that philosophy to view sweets as a forbidden fruit that is all the more sweet and will seek it out when outside the house. That'll lead to a pretty unhealthy relationship with food that I've no doubt can lead to a lifetime of bingeing sugar and snacks.
              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

              "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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              • #8
                I grew up in a house with unlimited junk...would walk to the bakery after school and buy cupcakes...could eat a sleeve of cookies at home, etc. Never drank water---sugary iced tea or kool-aid. Luckily I played three sports and stayed lean...and THANKFULLY my eating changed for the better in college (which is opposite of what normally happens) AND I learned how to cook! I am the ONLY one in my family at a healthy weight. My brother was a skinny kid too...but poor eating choices and shift work have pretty much destroyed him.

                I have two little boys 6 and 8. I bake maybe once a week---we're all gluten free. I put little snacks in their lunch, but I definitely limit overindulgence. They can choose nuts or fruit instead of sweets. I am pretty strict about no food coloring and dont really keep candy around nor do I gift it to them as rewards. Both of my boys are quite lean---I think BMIs checked by school nurse were 14 for both. They seem to accept it and not express being deprived. We did just celebrate my MILs bday and I made a GF cake and coconut ice cream. It helps that I am creative in the kitchen---and feed them real food! Hope that they continue to make good choices as the years go on!
                Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Damiana View Post
                  Honestly, it can go either way.
                  Yup.
                  We never had a lot of sweets in the house.
                  My brother was heavy then, and a heavy adult as well.
                  I was thin, and pretty much stayed that way.

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                  • #10
                    Preachers kids are always the worst. Get my drift?
                    Hustle for Happiness, Hustle for Love, Hustle for Health, Hustle for Wealth, Hustle for Muscle

                    http://www.hustleformuscle.com

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                    • #11
                      I have 4 siblings and it's interesting to observe how my mom's attitude towards sweets affected us. With me and my brother (eldest 2), she was incredibly strict. I only had sweets once a year during Chinese New Year. I would gorge on it. This carried in to my late teens. In my teen years, my mother gave up restricting, and I would eat sweets to my heart's content. I used to eat cakes for breakfast. I struggled with eating disorders in my 20s. But I was always on the thin side. My brother never cared much for sweets. He loves all the SAD carbs though. He's average size, starting to gain weight now in his late 20s. Both of us aren't big on sweets though. I avoid them completely because I know I overeat when I start. My brother just stops after he has enough.

                      With my youngest 3 sisters, my mother started to indulge in sweets and stopped caring much about restricting sweets. Her philosophy was that fruits and sweets were the same, so she preferred treats over fruit. She baked treats all the time. My sisters have a sweet tooth now. Love sweets. Dislike 'healthy' foods. Literally, they don't eat vegetables unless it's not recognizable. My sisters were all chubby kids (unlike bro and me), but leaned out as they grew older. One is very fixated on body, and eat very little (mostly junk) to maintain weight. She's constantly seeing doctors for digestion problems. One sister is very peculiar about food. Likes instant noodles, burgers, fried foods, no vegetables or fish. Last sister is on the heavier side, adopts a carefree attitude towards food. Eats whatever she likes, loves dessert. She's studying nutrition now, and is confused because what we talk about is different than she learns in school, lol. All of them are in their early to mid 20s though, so still able to stay relatively healthy.

                      I think it's the attitude towards food and body image that was affected the most...

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                      • #12
                        I think the problem there was the unfulfilling 'normal' food, not the treats. Your description made me think of the section in 'FatHead' where he describes the body looking for what it wants, and not stopping until it gets it. If we nourish our bodies with the correct nutrition-vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, good carbs, it is probably much easier to stop at ONE treat. But how many of us were raised that way?

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                        • #13
                          In the end, it depends on the individual child/adult. I was a fat kid who became a fat adult. I learned at an early age to prepare all the prepackaged foods (my mom didn't cook), so I ate a lot of mac n cheese (kraft), Rice a Roni, Hamburger Helper, tortillas with plenty of margarine, and I ate a lot of cookies, ice cream and candy. No big mystery as to why I was fat.

                          It wasn't until I educated myself about food and nutrition, and learned to cook with weird stuff (I didn't know that a leek was just a giant green onion!).

                          With my kids, I do let them have treats (Paleo-ized), every now and then. My middle son will say no to a cookie and opt for a piece of fruit, or just not have, whereas my youngest son is a sugar junkie and will chase me around for candy. It's my youngest I watch the most, because he has the same eating habits I did.

                          How they will be as adults? Whose to say. I teach them to cook, to shop, and intoduce them to new foods often. Only time will tell.

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                          • #14
                            I never had that much candy or treats as a kid, but my brother did. I'm a bit overweight right now, and he's thin as a rail. It might also have to do with metabolism or just calorie restriction in general. Also, he's more socially adaptable than I am, meaning I care less about what people around me think, so that might have something to do with it. Finally, my brother got braces because he had crappy teeth. He got fillings when he was 7 or 8, I believe.

                            As the constant, my mother breastfed both of us (although I got quite a bit more of soymilk from China than my brother!) and has always kept our household pretty healthy in terms of real food when it came to meals. Even when I was a teen, she would slap away my delicious Korean or Japanese ramen if I ate it more than once a week.
                            My chocolatey Primal journey

                            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kata View Post

                              Maybe if your kids eat enough real food with real flavor, they won't feel desperate for the stimulation of candy. They might not develop a sweet tooth at all because they won't feel like they've been deprived of flavor in their regular meals. Just a thought.
                              Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                              I think the problem there was the unfulfilling 'normal' food, not the treats. Your description made me think of the section in 'FatHead' where he describes the body looking for what it wants, and not stopping until it gets it. If we nourish our bodies with the correct nutrition-vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, good carbs, it is probably much easier to stop at ONE treat. But how many of us were raised that way?
                              +1

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