• Children's Center

    Mayo Clinic Minute: A doctor’s assignment for healthier students

Double-check your work. Heading into a new school year, it's good advice for homework and your family's eating habits. And as Dr. Vandana Bhide, a Mayo Clinic internal medicine specialist, explains, one particular ingredient should get especially close attention.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute 

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.

If your goal is healthier living in this school year, here’s some good news:

“So, minimal kinds of changes can make a big difference,” says Dr. Bhide.

The first assignment: Simply subtract sugar from your student’s diet. Focus on sugary soda drinks and other highly concentrated sweet treats.

“We know that reducing sugar will certainly decrease your risk of diabetes,” adds Dr. Bhide.

It will also reduce your child’s risk of obesity and other chronic medical conditions.

“If it was a small amount, we could utilize it," explains Dr. Bhide. "But, when you have high amounts of sugar – especially fructose – that is converted to fat. So it is, I think, more important to monitor your sugar and try to prevent eating a lot of sweets.”

Dr. Bhide says to look for ways to reduce sodium, too. Add more fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Make sure your student is getting a good night’s sleep. And remember:

“Just making that small intervention can make a big difference.” says Dr. Bhide.

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