Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cupcake Fever

I don't even like cakes, muffins or most baked goods, but walking by a cupcake store almost every day it's hard not to succumb at least to the curiosity of trying one.

We can't forget that advertising is the soul of business, which is why so much money is spent on it.

This specific cupcake store has people lined up outside, even during winter months, which is what teased my curiosity even more. I resisted for about a year, but resisting just made the matter worse, so I decided to try one once and for all.

I got in line, and was totally immersed in the difficult task of choosing one and of course, with the excuse that my husband wouldn't like the carrot one, I ended up buying two cupcakes. I had to try the one with vegetables on it so I would feel less guilty.

When I was paying, I saw a tiny cupcake that for me was much more appealing, and I asked about them. However, you would have to order them way in advance.

If I had time in advance to think I would also have had time to do my homework and read the labels, realize that it was not such a good idea before impulsively buying 1000 calories and twenty teaspoons of sugar, instead of buying one to share or none.

Size does matter and for an average 500 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar per cupcake, what counts for about 25% of your total calorie intake for the day, you would have to skip a whole meal to balance it out.

Sharing should have been the ideal option. In my case this was already out of the question - I had bought one for each one of us and my poor husband didn't even ask for the extra calories.

Our increasing love affair with sugar is going to kill us.

Yesterday when walking by the same cupcake store, I saw a mother and her two kids - maybe seven and eight years old - eating a cupcake outside the store. The three of them were sharing one cupcake, enjoying it, with no guilty look on their faces. I think this mother did her homework.

I was so proud and almost went over there to congratulate the family.

Yes sugar is addictive, yes it has power over us, but reading your labels, eating as a family and sharing can still give us pleasure and balance it out.

My goal as a pediatrician is to remind parents of their power to prevent and control childhood obesity. Parents have the power to change their home environment and influence changes in their schools and communities.
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