Keep drinks healthy – watch out for sugar content

Keep drinks healthy – watch out for sugar content

Keep your drinks healthy

Once weaning starts children still ought not to have juices or squashes. Milk, of whatever type you as an informed parent have chosen to give, is still the drink, (and main source of nutrition for a while), and although small drinks of water can be given, fruit juices and squashes should not.

Some fruit drinks marketed as ‘healthy’ are even too sugary for adults and experts are calling for sugar warnings as it is believed people seriously underestimate just how much sugar many of these drinks contain.

A Glasgow University study asked more than 2,000 people in the UK to estimate how much sugar was in a range of drinks. Many overestimated the amount in fizzy beverages, but underestimated the levels in smoothies and fruit juices.

The research also found soft drinks could be accounting for a large chunk of their recommended calorie intake.

The British Soft Drinks Association says the sugar in soft drinks is not hidden because beverages carry clear labelling of nutritional content, including calorie and sugar content.

However, that doesn’t mean people fully comprehend just what the sugar content means to their individual health.

The researchers asked participants to assess their weekly drinking habits. Their answers suggested 450 calories a day were being consumed – a quarter of the daily limit for women and a fifth for men.

But it was lack of awareness about the sugar content of drinks that caused concern. Participants were asked to guess how many teaspoons of sugar there were in a range of popular drinks. They underestimated it for pure apple juice, orange juice, a caffeinated energy drink and a smoothie by as much as two to four teaspoons. For a pomegranate-based drink, they underestimated the sugar content by nearly 18 teaspoons. 18!!!!!

The research team warned that the over-consumption of soft drinks was contributing to obesity and is a major risk factor for conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Lead researcher Prof Naveed Sattar said: “What you drink can be as damaging to the body as what you eat.

“Some varieties of drinks such as pure fruit juices and smoothies, which are perceived as ‘healthy’ options, are also very high in sugar.”

To read more visit: