Sugarless gum is okay as it helps prevent dental problems. Soda, whether sugar-free or not, is normally not recommended for daily consumption by kids. It contains phosphorous, which can disrupt bone development. There has to be an appropriate ratio of calcium to phosphorous for healthy bone growth, and a ratio imbalance can occur when drinking soda excessively. Occasional intake of sugared or sugarless soda is all right. The sugar-free variant is of more use to adults who are watchful of excess calories.
Sunil Sazawal, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., associate professor, department of international health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.
SMART PARENTING December 2005
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