Teenagers love sugar – after all, they’re one of the age groups that exceed the daily limit for sugar at higher rates than the rest of us, but the research shows that they’re affected a little differently than their adult counterparts. That’s why we decided to take a deep-dive into the effects of sugar on the teenage mind and body.
Teenagers are already prone to having mood swings as a result of hormonal changes, which is why eating too much sugar can cause even more stress for them by exacerbating the issue. Sugar is known to negatively affect hormones, and by releasing more cortisol, teens who are readily consuming sugary foods are set up for destabilising mood swings. They’re also at risk for developing mental health disorders like depression.
Risk of insulin resistance
Consuming too much sugar over time can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the body becomes less responsive to insulin – the hormone known for regulating blood-sugar levels. This can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that can be deadly if left untreated.
Teenagers already need more sleep than adults, often needing at least 9 hours for optimal development, but with sugar comes disrupted sleep. This is because of the blood-sugar spikes and hormonal changes that sugar causes, leading many to wake mid REM cycle when they should be asleep. The result is fatigue and grogginess during the day where they likely have school, homework and stressful extracurriculars already demanding a lot of energy from them. That’s why a good night’s sleep is so important – go for whole foods and relaxing chamomile tea to promote healthful sleep.
What to do
- Cut out sugar – get your teen off to a good start by setting them up with good habits around sugar. You don’t have to completely cut the stuff out, but teaching moderation is essential to prevent overconsumption.
- Encourage healthy habits – set a good example for eating healthily, from eating a variety of whole foods to putting balanced meals together, it’s all important.
- Promote exercise – take the family out for a nightly walk and encourage the kids to join sports to ensure they’re getting a mix of gentle and rigorous exercise.
Finding it hard to get yourself or your teen off sugar? We’re here to help. It’s no secret that a sugar habit is a tough one to beat – wherever you go, sugar is there. Unlike ditching alcohol, there are few places where sugar is unwelcome. From birthday parties and functions to the office pantry, Sunday markets and the supermarket. Is it any wonder that so many of us find it hard to quit the stuff? That’s why it can also help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We’ve also got nutritionists, personal trainers and naturopaths in our team of experts, and they understand what our bodies need and how to best arm ourselves against those cravings.
So, if you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!