Tuesday letters: Gatorade isn’t kid-friendly

February 25, 2014 

So PepsiCo has discontinued its line of “natural” Gatorade products. But there’s still a big problem with Gatorade and the sports drinks like it.

Gatorade, developed in 1965 to replenish the combination of water, carbohydrates and electrolytes for student athletes at the University of Florida, has become the choice of some very unlikely students — overweight and obese kids.

Could it get any worse? You bet it can. Those of us on the front lines of the obesity epidemic are watching as thousands of kids, including 300-, 400- and, yes, 500-pound children, are being told, via a mobile game for kids courtesy of Pepsi, that water is the enemy of athletic performance.

Having given 13 years of my life and single-handedly raised close to half a million dollars for the treatment of childhood obesity, I can’t even fathom this.

Have you ever seen a 350-pound kid try to run? Forget replacing electrolytes. Think replacing knees and hips.

Some might say that Gatorade’s lower-calorie G2 is an acceptable alternate, but the sheer sweetness of no-calorie sweeteners can stimulate a spike in insulin, which then causes a drop in blood sugar and then cravings for more sugar.

The beverage might be zero calorie, but it is not zero consequence.

Our kids deserve better.

Louis H. Yuhasz

Founder/CEO Louie’s Kids

Charleston

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