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Life - Health & Wellness Updated: November 21, 2023

Effects of excess sugar intake in children — Expert

By Felicia Abisola Olamiji
November 21, 2023
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An expert has disclosed that excess sugar consumption may trigger low vision in children.

He, therefore, urged parents to stop feeding their children with sugar-laden foods, warning that low vision in children impacts on their growth and development.

According to him, excessive sugar consumption can lead to short-term and long-term vision problems, including blurred vision, difficult in seeing at night, and an increased risk of developing myopia, or nearsightedness.

A paediatric ophthalmologist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Dr. John Kolawole, who spoke during an interview with Punch said high sugar intake can cause short-term changes to the eyes, such as temporary blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain.

Kolawole explained that sugar may affect vision by increasing insulin levels, which could lead to changes in the growth of the eye.

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The physician added that high sugar intake has been linked to an increased risk of a condition called retinopathy of prematurity also known as ROP.

He described ROP as a condition that occurs when the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, do not develop properly.

He stressed that ROP can lead to blindness, and infants born prematurely are at a particularly high risk.

He further said, “Studies have shown that high blood sugar levels, even in newborns, can contribute to the development of ROP.

“Sugar has been shown to hurt children’s eyesight. In addition to the short-term effects like blurry vision, sugar can also increase the risk of myopia and other eye problems down the road.

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“Parents need to limit their children’s sugar intake to no more than 25 grams per day. This amount can easily be reached by eating just one serving of candy or soda. Children should be drinking water or milk instead of sugary drinks.

“One way to educate parents about the dangers of high sugar intake is to provide them with simple, concrete strategies for reducing their child’s sugar intake.

“Parents need to set an example by eating healthy themselves and teaching their children about the importance of making healthy choices. Kids are impressionable, and they will follow the lead of their parents”.

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Felicia Abisola Olamiji

  A graduate of English Language from Olabisi Onabanjo University, passionate about learning new...

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