Talkin’ Smack about AYSO Snack

There’s nothing better than a good game of soccer to help combat childhood obesity. Unlike baseball, kids actually run, sprint and exert themselves the way they should.

But youth soccer has evolved since the 1970s in one very negative way. Back when Jimmy Carter was president, snacks usually consisted of one bag of orange wedges, handed to each kid who took a knee at the half. This tradition has remained, but now parents feel obligated to provide processed junk food laced with high-fructose corn syrup to the players after the game.

After a recent American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) game, JiggyHealth observed a parent supply a bottle of Powerade, a Pringles snack pack, Oreo mini cookies and a pack of Cheez-It crackers to the players. Never mind that most of the kids had just eaten breakfast and a bag of orange wedges at halftime. And forget about a healthy lunch after the game. In its place was junk food containing 480 calories, 31 grams of sugar and 17 grams of fat.

In a lecture by Robert Lustig, a leading expert in childhood obesity at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, he calls sugar “toxic.” Lustig argues that high-fructose corn syrup is a veritable poison when ingested by the human body, calling it “the most demonized additive known to man.”

The real question when it comes to AYSO and snacks is, how did this horrible tradition get started? And whatever happened to drinking water and eating a healthy sandwich after the game? Let us know your thoughts and comments.

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