Parents have always experimented on their children to make them better, even before the idea of genetic engineering was conceived. Perhaps the most basic experiment is making kids better through nutrition - an experiment I expect many people were a part of. I know I was.

In an attempt to capture the baby market, it seems that manufacturers of baby food are trying to maximize their chances by adding a little extra something to their foods. The Journal of Public Health found that a little over half the baby foods on the market contain a large number of calories derived from simple sugars, and over ten percent of them had some extra sodium. The authors speculate that these sweet and salty foods train people to like these tastes from the beginning. A kid might never know what a natural amount of sweetness, the kind found in non-processed sugary foods like fruits and honey, taste like. This might lead to the higher rates of obesity in the modern western population.


This is pure speculation, so why not add to the pile? There is currently an entire crop of adults raised by a generation that grew up in the sixties and seventies - the hippie generations - who were as into unprocessed meals as any current foodie. Many of those people, and their parents, have to be reading this site. At least one of those people is writing for it.

My mother and father have both said that no processed or artificially sweetened food passed my lips as a baby. They ground up vegetables as food, gave me mashed bananas as a treat, and never had candy around the house. My indulgences were home baked pies and raisin buns from a bakery down the street.

At least, this is what they say. I vaguely remember being so confused by a cupcake at a friend's birthday party that I ate the wrapper, but beyond that, my memories are of candy, candy, candy, candy, candy. At some point, parents don't have control over what their kids eat anymore, and sugar, fat, and sodium knocked me upside-down and sideways. I didn't get an over-abundance of candy as a kid. Once my parents gave up and had it around the house it was reserved for after-dinner treats. But I do remember always wanting more. Today, it's my superego, not my taste buds, that keep me from eating potato chips for breakfast and cake for lunch. So, with my one point of reference, it seems that the authors of this well-intentioned study are speculating in vain.


What about you, readers? Did your parents try to restrict your love affair with corn syrup? Did it work?

Via Scientific American.