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'Healthy' soft drinks sugar warning

17th April 2012

Researchers at Glasgow University have said people tend to make too low an estimate of how much sugar is contained in "healthy" soft drinks.

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The team spoke to 2,000 people in the UK and asked them to guess the sugar contained in a number of different drinks.

They found people were more likely to think sugar levels were higher than they actually were in fizzy drinks, while they underestimated the sugar in fruit juices.

The team asked people who participated in the study to look at what they were drinking on a weekly basis.

They found that most people were consuming around 450 calories a day in beverages, which equates to 25% of a woman's recommended daily calorie allowance.

When the participants were asked to estimate how much sugar was contained in a pomegranate drink, they underestimated it by almost 18 tablespoons.

Lead researcher Prof Naveed Sattar said: "What you drink can be as damaging to the body as what you eat. There is no question that consuming too many sugar-sweetened drinks can greatly contribute to obesity."

"Some varieties of drinks such as pure fruit juices and smoothies, which are perceived as 'healthy' options, are also very high in sugar. For many people struggling with their weight, reducing their intake of such drinks and replacing with water or diet drinks would be a sensible first target to help them lessen their calorie intake." 

 

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