A glance at the headers along the top shows the listing for my Page – What’s Wrong with Soft Drinks?
I am an equal opportunity analyst and I find fault with both the sugary soft drinks and the chemically-laden diet soft drinks.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported that “Fewer people are gulping soft drinks. In the past five years, the volume of soda consumed in the U.S. has declined between 1% and 3% each year. Diet sodas have fallen especially sharply, between 2.5% and 6% annually, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York research and consulting firm.
So, apparently folks are backing away more from the diet sodas than sugared although sales of both are sliding.
To counter this trend, soft drink makers are selling a new angle for their beverages: “They contain sugar,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Talk about pick your poison. One is worse than the other for you. I think you are better off drinking something else, like, say, water?
Interestingly, fruit drinks aren’t a lot better. Across the pond – researchers from the University of Liverpool and colleagues from Action on Sugar have assessed the sugar content of over 200 fruit drinks marketed at children and have found them to be “unacceptably high.”
The research, conducted by Professor Simon Capewell from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and Action on Sugar has been published Thursday, 24 March in the online journal BMJ Open.
To assess the sugar content of fruit juice drinks, 100% natural juices, and smoothies marketed specifically to children, the researchers measured the quantity of ‘free’ sugars in 203 standard portion sizes (200 ml) of UK branded and supermarket own label products, using the pack labelling information provided.
The results highlighted wide variations in the amount of free sugars between different types of drink and within the same type of product.
Almost half the products assessed contained at least a child’s entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19g or five teaspoons, show the findings.
Of the research Professor Simon Capewell, said: “Increasing public awareness of the detrimental effect sugar sweetened drinks have on kids’ teeth and waistlines has prompted many parents to opt for seemingly healthier fruit juice and smoothie alternatives.
“Unfortunately our research shows that these parents have been misled. The sugar content of the fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies tested, is unacceptably high. And smoothies are among the worst offenders.”
As a result of the findings, the researchers make several recommendations:
• Fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies should not count as one of the UK government’s ‘5 a day’ recommendations, as is currently the case
• Fruit should preferably be eaten WHOLE, not as juice
• Parents should DILUTE fruit juice with water or opt for unsweetened juices, and only serve these drinks during meals
• Portion sizes should be limited to 150 ml/day (not the current 200ml)
Professor Capewell adds: “Manufacturers should stop adding unnecessary amounts of sugars, and therefore calories, to their fruit drink/juice/smoothie products. Our kids are being harmed for the sake of industry profits. If companies can’t slash sugar voluntarily, the government should step in with statutory regulations.”
The bottom line is that you really need to be careful about what you are drinking these days as the temperatures rise in to the summer months. It appears that there are no easy answers.
As far as I am concerned, I stay away from soft drinks completely, both diet and sugar. I drink water and also make iced teas and iced coffees as the temperatures rise. I don’t mind a nice cold beer with dinner sometimes. I limit it to one bottle.
If the iced coffee idea appeals to you, please check out my post on cold-brewed coffee which makes a wonderful cold coffee that isn’t diluted as is iced coffee made the regular way.