Easter bunnies and Hot Cross buns …a blessing or a curse?
Easter…. associated with bunnies and lots of chocolate. However, what does that mean for your waist and brain in terms of the amount of sugar and fat consumed?
Easter has become a time of utter and complete over-indulgence on chocolate. With that I do not mean you are not allowed to have a piece of chocolate. The problem is that all bunnies and chocolate associated with Easter is either white chocolate or normal milk chocolate and some even with gooey fillings that has lots of sugar in it.
The recommended daily amounts of energy are around 8 400kJ per day for an average 11-year-old boy and 6300kJ for a girl, but many could be eating up to 42 000 kJ over the Easter period!
Let’s look at a few statistics and compare the amounts to slices of bread.
The average Easter egg of 100g is the equivalent to 1700 – 2500 kJ which is the same as when you eat 5 ½ – 8 slices of bread. The kilojoules can increase up to 6300kJ depending on the size and the filling of the egg.
A typical child under 12 years will get at least one egg from his parents and 7 from other people. The total of 8 eggs can be as much as 59 slices of bread and 270 teaspoons of sugar (1.3 kg) which is equivalent to 4 loaves of bread.
According to Angus Kennedy, the editor of Kennedy’s Confectionery magazine in England, these sweet treats can increase up to 50 400kJ which is the amount of energy that is needed for 1 week’s food. A 90 km (Comrades marathon) run will burn this energy……not likely for most people/ children to do.
All these sales are excellent for business and economy, however with a population where 60 % is overweight and with so many children that have learning difficulties, we should reconsider. In practice I find that people don’t think of sweets / chocolates as empty energy that will have to be burned or stored as fat.
To burn one 100g Easter egg the following exercise would have to be done:
|Type of exercise – High intensity||KJ burnt in 1 hour|
|Running constantly @ 11 km/hour||2500 kJ|
|Kickboxing alternated with skipping||3780kJ|
|Tennis singles 2 hours||2100KJ|
|Swimming 2 hours back stroke||2100kJ|
|High impact aerobics class||2500kJ|
Another treat during Easter is hot cross buns that’s considered a refined carbohydrate which will be converted into fat quite easily and cause spiking blood sugar levels.
Do you or the children have to abstain completely? No, it is a special fun time of the year and children want to participate in bunny runs. However, we need to make conscious decisions about the amount and frequency of the treats. It is still a treat and needs to be considered in that way.
A tip for avoiding over-consumption of the Easter treats:
Have a full meal and eat a small amount of treats after the meal – not instead of the meal. In that way you will be able to control the quantities a lot better.
If we restrict ourselves and don’t have any of the candy, then we feel deprived and may end up overdoing it at some point. Enjoy it, be done with it and get back on track but keep the portions small.
- eauk.org › Culture › Statistics
By Ina Nortjé – Wholistic Wellness Practitioner