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Note : This blog first appeared in the Somerset County Gazette

Do kids eat too many sweets?

I hear lots of people moaning about how parents just spoil their kids with chocolate, or treats.

It is certainly true that most children’s focus on sweets is fairly impressive.  “Hmm, how many mouthfuls of broccoli will I have to eat to persuade the old fella to let me have some pudding….maybe 3, perhaps 4 tops.” I have been tempted sometime to resort to chocolate covered broccoli.

As American comedian Jerry Seinfeld says, “the first ten years of my life, the only clear thought I had was GET CANDY.  That was it; family, friends, school, they’re just obstacles in the way of candy”.

Which summarises the parental problem beautifully.

But a recent study shows that in fact, by giving people sweets, and trying to make them happy, we are actually benefiting society!

Researchers at the University of Warwick have found that the happier people are, the more productive they are.  If you make people laugh, or give them chocolate, then they are up to 12% more effective at what they do.

With Easter coming up, this is a reassuring thought.  By handing out chocolate eggs we are making a contribution to increasing GDP, and directly helping to reduce the deficit.  No need to worry about motivational management, or inspirational parenting, just pop along to the pick and mix.  Problem solved.

So let’s suppress, for the time being, concerns about the side effects of obesity and rotting teeth, and enjoy the feast that is Easter.  And if you’re worried, well there is always the chocolate broccoli approach (patent pending).

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