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The Hidden Sugars We Give Our Children Every Day

March 25, 2015 by Hyslop Dental

Fruit juices and smoothies are marketed as a healthy choice in the world of children’s drinks. cokeAfter all, fruit is natural and good for you, so surely it’s better to give a child a glass of orange juice than a glass of cola?

But a new report by the group Action On Sugar highlights just how misguided our assumptions are about the health benefits of juices and smoothies. The study found that many supposedly healthy smoothies and juices from supermarkets and well-known brands contain up to eight teaspoons of sugar or one and half times the amount of sugar in a can of Coca-Cola.

In fact, more than half of the drinks in the study would fall into the red zone in the food traffic light labelling system because of their high sugar content.

Action On Sugar warns that high levels of sugar in everyday foods are contributing to record levels of tooth decay, obesity and type two diabetes among children.

The worst fruit drinks for hidden sugar

Tesco Apple & Banana Smoothie = 1 Can of Coke

Among the worst offenders in the latest study was Tesco Goodness Slurper Apple & Banana Fruit Smoothie Snack for Kids, which contains a whopping 16.1g of sugar per 100ml. By comparison, Coca-Cola contains 10.6g for every 100ml.

Innocent Smoothie = 2 Pop Tarts

An Innocent Smoothie might add a portion or two to your daily fruit and veg intake, but it also contains over 34g of sugar in a full 250ml bottle. That’s the same as two Kellogg’s Pop Tarts.

Ribena carton = Bag of Maltesers

Ribena is a drink we probably remember from our childhoods, and while it may be bursting with berries, it’s also packed with sugar. An ordinary 200ml carton contains around 21.8g – more than a standard (37g) bag of Maltesers.

Robinsons Fruit Shoot = more than five ginger nuts

Robinsons Fruit Shoot comes in 200ml bottles and contains 20g of sugar. That’s nearly six ginger nut biscuits.

Capri Sun = half a Krispy Kreme doughnut

Capri Sun is another drink marketed for its health benefits, and though there might be some, a 200ml pouch contains 12.2g of sugar, the equivalent of more than half a Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.

Copella Apple Juice = 1 KitKat

Many parents avoid fizzy drinks and give their children fruit juices as a ‘healthy’ option. In fact, Copella Apple Juice contains around 20g per 200ml or the equivalent of a four-finger KitKat bar.

Sainsbury’s Orange Juice = more than five chocolate chip cookies

Another fruit juice that’s high in sugar is Sainsbury’s orange juice from concentrate. A 200ml carton contains 20.8g of sugar or more than five chocolate chip cookies.

So, remember to check the label – natural sugars can be just as harmful in high quantities as refined, added sugars.

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