Concerning Sugar

"Soft drinks are no longer an occasional treat. They've become a daily habit for a growing number of people, especially kids, teens and young adults. You may be surprised to learn that, on average, every American consumes 56 gallons of soda pop a year." - From The Minnesota Dental Association (Dr. Wagnild's Alma Mater!), for you, your teens, and your kids. Here's some interesting topics from their site:

Sip All Day, Get Decay © 2003 Minnesota Dental. View article here.

Yuck! Ick! Gross! Your Teeth When You Sip All Day... View website here.

The Power of Sour on Your Teeth ® Sour candies have become an increasingly popular treat, especially among children, teens and young adults. However, what might appear to be a harmless treat can have a devastating effect on teeth. The high acidity of these fruity/sour candies can weaken and wear away tooth enamel, which is essential to healthy teeth. In some cases, the damage can be very severe and lead to permanent tooth loss.

  • In the past 20 years, candies marketed to children have increasingly been of a "fruity" or "sour" variety.
  • Sour candies are very acidic, with a low pH level (Acid Levels in Sour Candies).
  • Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes. Click here for more.

Sour Candy Close to Battery Acid! (Choose Chocolate!) View article and video here.

The Minnesota Dental Association is warning about the dangers of sour candies in the mouth. Some of the treats have an acidic level close to battery acid.

The fruit flavored, colorful candies like Skittles, Starburst, SweetTarts, Nerds and more all have an acidic level of four or lower. The smaller the number, the more acid it has. For example, a liquid spray candy called Sour Blast has an acidic level of 1.5. Battery acid has an acidic level of one. The acid erodes away the tooth enamel and causes sensitivity and cavities. Kids usually keep these types of candies in their mouth a long time, and the acid attack last another 20 minutes after that.

"Maybe trade in your sour candy for a chocolate bar that would be a lot safer for your teeth than the sour candy," Fong said. Fong also suggests not brushing teeth right after eating sour candies, as it increases the acid effect in your mouth. Eat cheese or drink milk -- something neutralizing -- and then brush one hour later.

The Minnesota Dental Association has more information on their website about the dangers of sour candies at

What's in Your Pop? Sugar and Acid, by Brand Name. View website here.

Some Hard Facts about Soft Drinks Kids, Teens and Soft Drinks - (Get ready to gulp). View slideshow here.

Would you eat a stack of 16 sugar cubes? A label can tell you there are 39 grams of sugar in your soda, but what does that much sugar look like? View website here.

Is Sugar Toxic? Gary Taubes is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation independent investigator in health policy. Click here for his article, Is Sugar Toxic?, in the New York Times Magazine, published: April 13, 2011.


Sugar: The Bitter Truth. View the video here. Gary Taubes writes: "On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called 'Sugar: The Bitter Truth.' It has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology. Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country."

Sugar in Drinks and Salt in our Food: Why You Should Care View this video from the University of California here. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of UCSF details the many health consequences of hidden sugars and a high salt content in the modern American diet. She provides some basic guidelines for food choices to help us avoid these potentially devastating health conditions.

Food and Addiction: Sugar Addiction - Proof of Concept View the video here. Nicole Avena of the University of Florida researches abnormal eating behaviors to understand brain mechanisms that contribute to overeating of sugars and fats. She and her colleagues find that rats maintained on a diet schedule that induces binge eating of sugar can result in several behaviors and changes in the dopamine and opioid brain systems that resemble an "addiction."

The Best and Worst Halloween Candy. View a video here from the Minnesota Dental Association, discussing the best and worst Halloween Candy.


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