Children not getting enough exercise.
REGARDING the letter headlined 'Habit of eating sugary, fatty snacks is to blame' (Talkback, September 4), I agree that fatty, sugary foods are obviously to blame for childhood obesity, to a certain extent - but we must also face up to the fact that our children do not get the exercise that our generation and older generations got from running around, riding bikes, climbing trees etc.
As kids we were never sitting still for five minutes - never played computer games, never chatted online - most of our activities included movement, which of course helped to counteract the fatty, sugary foods we may have eaten.
While it's undoubtedly a good thing that sugar content is being reduced in drinks and snacks these days, it's a pity that food and drink manufacturers can't go one step further and remove artificial sweeteners from their products altogether. Surely it is no better for our children's health to be eating products removed of all sugar (which after all is natural) but loaded with artificial sweeteners, which are not? The use of chemical sweeteners which contain aspartame, for example, is worrying. Aspartame is now in most products that have "less sugar", but its effects are well documented, though not conclusive.
There are many reports you can read online which back up the fact that aspartame causes a whole range of health-issues, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Surely the answer to the "sugar problem" is to reduce sugars and sweeteners and retrain our taste buds, rather than replacing a "dangerous" natural product with a chemical which could be even more damaging to our health? I personally never buy any product containing aspartame. This is becoming increasingly difficult, as almost every soft drink now contains it!
How can we trust this to be any safer than sugar? Rob Houghton, Kings Norton The small print: Letters will not be included unless you include your name, full postal address and daytime telephone number (we prefer to use names of letter writers but you can ask for your name not to be published if you have a good reason). The Editor reserves the right to edit all letters.
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