Should kids be cleansing?
For some kids, watching their health conscious parents do cleanses by drinking juice in all colors of the rainbow has made them want to try cleanses, too; teens especially are using cleanses as a quick way to lose weight. This is a dangerous trend, experts say.
“Kids don’t need a cleanse; they need good food,” Dr. Keith Ayoob, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said in an interview with Good Morning America. “A cleanse usually means they’re also excluding necessary food groups and nutrients.”
However companies are seeing the popularity of juice cleanses amongst kids and have created cleanses just for kids. The “Children’s Cleanse” sold by Dherbs.com targets kids between the ages of 2 and 12 and requires kids to drink four Children’s Cleanse liquid extracts and follow a raw diet. The cleanse can last up to 14 days.
“A glass of juiced vegetables and fruits does not contain protein and fat, which are vital for a child’s growth and brain development. Children should be eating well balanced diets of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy,” said Michelle Remkus, a registered dietician at the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill. “If you child refuses to eat their veggies or fruits try making them a healthy smoothie. Blend together berries, spinach, milk, and yogurt in a blender for a healthy drink that still contains protein, fat, and fiber.”
Juice cleanses for adults are controversial amongst health experts. Some argue cleanses are as a healthy way to detoxify the body, while others say they are dangerous due to the lack of nutrition and calories consumed.
“For teens looking to lose weight, cleansing offer no long term benefits,” said Dr. Rosalind Downing, a pediatrician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “The weight lost will only be fluid which will only be lost temporarily.”
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