With the prevalence of childhood obesity remaining high, every effort must be taken to encourage healthier eating and behaviors at a very young age. By creating healthier lifestyles from ‘baseline’, we can prevent both obesity and many of its comorbidities, thereby setting up children to live healthy lives.
In opposition to this goal, from the moment children are born, they are exposed to an environment that condones and even promotes unhealthy eating (through the use of candy or sugared drinks as a reward). Now, researchers in England are advocating the use of sugar drops to relieve childhood pain during required immunizations. Does this practice encourage the idea of soothing children with sugar, setting them up for comfort eating when they are in pain or stressed later in life? Although the researchers say, “anything we can do to minimize the discomfort of immunization for children is to be welcomed,” is this an unnecessary procedure with too many concomitant risks?