Researcher Claude Marcus looked at impact of sugar-free schools
This Breitbart.com story about a new Swedish study was absolutely encouraging to anyone living a sugar-free lifestyle.
Lead researcher Claude Marcus, professor of Pediatrics at the Stockholm, Sweden-based Karolinska Institute (whose previous research has show the impact of high blood sugar on Alzheimer's disease and sugar's unique role in pancreatic cancer), wanted to see if an across-the-board ban on all sweets, junk food, and sodas in ten area schools would make a difference in the number of overweight children at those schools. These high-carb sugary garbage foods were replaced by high-fiber, lower-fat, low-carb foods.
Over a four-year period, the number of overweight or obese 6-10 year old children in the project called STOPP (Stockholm Obesity Prevention Project) dropped markedly from 22 percent down to 16 percent. WOW! That's a full six percentage points just by simply removing the sugar option from the foods available at school.
So what happened to the control group that changed nothing?
These sugar-eating, high-carb junk food-ingesting children saw the number of overweight or obese children RISE from 18 percent to 21 percent. Not surprising at all to those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb.
The results of Marcus' study were presented at the 15th European Congress on Obesity in Budapest, Hungary on Monday, April 23. STOPP was financed by the Stockholm County Council with contributions from the Swedish Research Council and the Masonic Home for Children in Stockholm.
Interestingly, Marcus said his study showed it is indeed possible to tackle childhood obesity without adding any extra expenditures to the existing school budgets.
"Our results show that programmes to reduce the increasing rate of obesity can be carried out within the schools' existing budgets," he said.
Sweet! So much for the excuse that serving kids healthy alternatives to junk food is too expensive. As long as those "healthy" alternatives have enough fat and protein to make them good for the kids, it shouldn't be a problem economically or nutritionally. That seems to be what this study indicates and the proof is in the astounding results.
There was one positive impact that the example from the sugar-free schools had when the children got home.
"We also interpret the results to mean that clear regulations in schools can help parents to set standards for their children and improve dietary habits at home," the study indicated.
What an excellent point! When parents who want to feed their kids the right kind of foods get reinforcement when their children go to school, then they are better able to effectively bring about improvements in their child's health without the fear of being undercut by the peer influences at school. We need something like this to be implemented in the United States--ASAP!
There is some hope already with kids like this refusing to sell sugary foods as a fundraiser. It's gonna take a lot more efforts like these to bring about the kind of results Marcus saw in his study. So let's get it started, baby!
You can e-mail Claude Marcus about this research at Claude.Marcus@ki.se.