Lustig, Schmidt & Brindlis, (2012) research demonstrated that 100 grams’ consumption of sugar per day is considered to be harmful to our health. On the other hand, the American Heart Association recommends females to have <6 teaspoons or 24 grams and males < 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of refined sugars each day. This is currently not the case as the vast majority are known to be having >4 times that amount as on average, our per capita daily sugar intake ranges from 120 to 164 grams. Consequently, this leads to
Let see how can this be the case in terms of sugary drinks :
Overall, an average 473ml energy drink contain 50-60 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent to 10-12 teaspoons of sugar.
So you may be asking yourself why is there so much sugar placed in coffee and cranberry drinks?
This is due to caffeine and cranberries being very bitter by nature. This is addressed by adding sugar.
As a result, there had been a strong focus debated by national governing bodies worldwide on the topic of implementing a soda tax (the Soft Drinks Industry Levy) on carbonated soft drinks sports drinks and energy drinks. The implementation of soda tax has seen over one forth (22%) of Hungarians reducing their energy drink consumption and 19% reduction of sugary-sweetened soft-drinks since 2011. More recently, Ireland and the United Kingdom had permitted a national soda tax in 2016, which commenced in April 2018. This implementation was anticipated to raise up to £520 million a year in tax revenue that will be spent on funding sport among primary schools in UK.
The take home message, is to try and make fresh juices instead of processed juices to be fully sure that the sugar added is natural and not excessive. In addition, it could be hypothesis that in the forthcoming future, excessive sugar consumption (>100 grams/ day) will be regarded alongside booze and nicotine as substance that can easily be abused that can have life-threatening consequences.
If you are like many and want to act now, need some lifestyle advice or a personalised tailored-made nutrition plan, that will get you back on track for a healthier and happier you.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!
Caffeine Informer. Sugar in Drinks. Retrieved from: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/sugar-in-drinks
Lustig, R. H., Schmidt, L. A., & Brindis, C. D. (2012). Public health: the toxic truth about sugar. Nature, 482(7383), 27-29.
Malik, V.S., Hu, F.B. (2015). Fructose and Cardiometabolic Health: What the Evidence from Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tells Us. Journal of American College of Cardiology, 66(14),1615-1624. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.08.025.
Malik, V. S., Schulze, M. B., & Hu, F. B. (2006). Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 84(2), 274-288.
Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E. W., Flanders, W. D., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults. JAMA internal medicine, 174(4), 516-524.
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