Kids’ fruit drinks and juices contain a day’s worth of sugar

Kids’ fruit drinks and juices contain a day’s worth of sugar

Kids’ fruit drinks and juices contain a day’s worth of sugar, according to a new British study.

Pamela Koch, executive director of the nutrition program at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City was not surprised by the findings.

I believe the results would be very similar if this study was conducted with fruit drink products available in the United States,” Koch said. “Many fruit drinks are excessively high in added sugars, as this study found. Yet, these are often marketed as healthful products, confusing parents and children,” she added.

The study was led by Simon Capewell, a professor Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool. Capewell and his team measured levels of what they called “free sugars” in 203 fruit drinks and 100 percent natural juices marketed for children.

Free sugars can also be thought of as “added sugars,” like glucose, fructose, sucrose, and table sugars. Natural sweeteners like honey and syrups were also accounted for.

They found that almost half of the products contained at least the maximum recommended 19 grams of sugar per day.

Capewell explains that as parents learn more about the detrimental health effects of sugars, they tend to “opt for seemingly healthier fruit juice and smoothie alternatives.”

Unfortunately, our research shows that these parents have been misled,” he said. “The sugar content of the fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies tested, is unacceptably high. And smoothies are among the worst offenders.”

Nancy Copperman, vice president of public health at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. believes that the excess sugar in drinks is a problem in the United States too.

The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting added sugars to less than 10 percent of children’s total calories and promotes eating fruit, rather than drinking 100 percent juice, to meet the suggested daily servings of fruits and vegetables,” Copperman said.

The study showing that kids’ fruit drinks and juices contain a day’s worth of sugar was published in the journal BMJ Open.

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1. “Kids’ Fruit Drinks, Juices Contain Day’s Worth of Sugar.” Consumer HealthDay. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
2. “How Much Sugar Is Hidden in Drinks Marketed to Children? A Survey of Fruit Juices, Juice Drinks and Smoothies.” BMJ Open. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.

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