Trying to eat light and cut back on sugar? Then watch what you drink. Soft drinks, juices, flavoured mineral waters, fruit-based drinks and sports drinks are the major source of sugar, according to CSIRO who analysed the Australian diet for sugar intake. Collectively these drinks supply 30 per cent of the added sugar adults consume but as much as 47 per cent in teenage boys who have a sweet tooth and are the biggest consumers of sugar.
If you're serious about cutting back on sugar, look at what you drink. Here's why:
While sugar doesn't cause diabetes or heart disease, it's wise to moderate your intake to help prevent obesity. Sweetened drinks account for the biggest share of our sugar intake. Following that, it's the sugar we use at home in coffee/tea and on cereal (as well as jam and honey), followed by doughnuts, pastries, cakes and pies that account for most of our sugar.
The combination of sugar and acid in soft drinks is what makes them so harmful to tooth enamel, says the Australian Dental Association. Here are their 5 suggestions to minimise the damage:
Excessive consumption of soft drink, especially by children, is now considered a factor in obesity. Nutritionists believe soft drinks encourage ‘passive overconsumption', a term that means they are easy to swallow without the ‘filling power' of solid food.
A UK school program intervention of 644 children aged 7 to 11 years discouraging consumption of fizzy drinks was successful in slowing rising obesity rates over 12 months. By comparison, in the group which was not encouraged to reduce its intake, the number of overweight and obese children rose significantly.
Theoretically, the researchers calculated that the daily consumption of just one can of sweetened fizzy drink per day over a 10-year period - with everything else remaining the same - can add 50 kg to your weight over 10 years.