LeBron James and Steph Curry have both done ads for Coke. We wonder if they’d reconsider now that research indicates when teens load up on added sugars, it disrupts the mix of bacteria in their digestive tract and causes them learning and memory problems as adults!

U.S. kids drink an average of 30 gallons of sugary drinks a year and take in even more added sugar from processed foods. That’s enough to cause widespread cognition problems down the road, according to researchers who did a lab study on the long-term effects of consuming a lot of sugar during adolescence. The study, in the journal Translational Psychiatry, showed that the sugar bomb increased levels of one particular gut bacterium. That interfered with cognitive development in the hippocampus — a part of the brain that is still undergoing changes in adolescents — and that dims the future adult brain.

Mom and Dad, your smart steps:

• Never give your children sugar-added beverages (that’s where the bulk of kids’ added sugar comes from) or foods.

• Tell them why you’re concerned: It can damage their brain.

• Set a great example by ditching all sugary beverages, including sports and energy drinks.

• And teach them — and yourself — to read ingredient labels so you can avoid all foods that list dextrose, fructose and high fructose corn syrup, glucose, lactose, maltose sucrose, beet sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup and other syrups, maltodextrin or molasses.

Give your child a fighting chance to be his or her healthiest, most successful self. That’s the sweet thing to do.

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