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How much sugar is in your drink? It’s a question that’s being asked more and more regularly as we better understand what’s in our food and the health affects it has on our body.

Sugar is often cited as being a prime cause for obesity, but this is somewhat misleading. Professor Lustig, a Professor of Paediatrics from the University of California states that Sugar accounts for about 0.8BMI points, but there is a 7-8 point issue in obesity, making this a small factor in overall diet. So why then has Britain recently announced sugar tax on drinks?

Sugar is leading cause of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and fatty liver diseases. It is often assumed that Obesity is the leading cause of Diabetes; however Hong Kong has a significantly lower obesity rate than the United States, but a much higher diabetes rate. It’s to do with the way various sugars are processed by our bodies.

A study by Lustig, published in the journal Obesity, changed children’s diets by substituting sugar with starch. All normal aspects of the diet remained the same, but after 10 days there was 22% reduction on fat around the liver, but fat around the abdomen known as visceral fat but often referred to as stomach fat or belly fat remained the same. With the reduction of liver fat metabolic systems improved.

Sugary drinks are also a leading cause of tooth decay. Liverpool in England has recently declared an epidemic on tooth Decay, and state that 2,000 children in the city alone have had tooth extractions by the age of 5.

A daily allowance depending on age is 5-7 sugar cubes (4g per cube) for children, however a 500ml bottle of coca-cola contains 13.5, almost double the highest allowance with Lucozade containing even more at 15.5 cubes in a 500ml bottle. Even a Tropicana orange juice, usually considered a healthier option contains 7.5 cubes.

They are launching a campaign aiming for people to take up healthier drink options such as water and low fat milk to reduce tooth decay and the health of everyone in the city.

Know what’s in your drink. Keep your children healthy.

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