Teenagers are consuming over three times as much added sugar a day as they should do and 40% of that sugar is coming from soft drinks. According to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey, kids aged four to ten are consuming over twice as much added sugar as they should do and 30% of that comes from soft drinks, while toddlers under three are getting 27% of their added sugar from soft drinks. Cereals, cakes, biscuits, sweets and jams are the next biggest sources of added sugar.
Amid the Chief Medical Officer for England’s controversial call for a sugar tax, campaigners from Action On Sugar are calling for reductions in the amount of sugar added to soft drinks and for fruit juices to be removed from our recommended five-a-day. Public Health England has also warned that fruit juices are fuelling tooth decay among toddlers and that parents should ensure that toddlers under three should only have water or milk. A leading nutrition scientist has suggested that all kids should only drink water with their meals while cutting down on fizzy drinks, squashes and fruit juices.
Considering the latest recommendations that adults and teenagers should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day; kids no more than five teaspoons and toddlers no more than three-and-a-half, Action On Sugar has highlighted the large amounts of sugar found in soft drinks, fruit juice drinks and smoothies – particularly those purposefully packaged and marketed towards kids:
Health experts say that eating fresh whole fruit is the best way to satisfy our sweet tooth. Naturally occurring sugar always comes packed up along with fibre, vitamins, minerals and water – in the form of fruit and some vegetables like peas and sweetcorn – so we’re best off getting our daily dose the way nature intended. Pure juices and smoothies have lots of sugar and less fibre – not so good for you or your kids.
Will you carry on buying soft drinks, juices & smoothies that have lots of sugar for your kids? Should food manufacturers stop adding so much sugar? Are you trying to go sugar free? How do you make water cooler for your kids to drink? Share nicely on Twitter and Facebook
by Bob Fear
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Image from Getty