Sugar levels in ‘healthy’ drinks underestimated

New research by scientists at Glasgow University has found that many people are underestimating the levels of sugar contained in drinks such as fruit juices, smoothies and milkshakes which are often given to children and perceived to be healthy options

sugar levels in healthy drinks under estimated

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 17th April 2012

More than 2000 people from across the UK were surveyed during the research, which required them to estimate the sugar contained in a variety of beverages. The results state that most ‘significantly misjudged’ the levels contained in the drinks which are perceived as healthier choices. The research suggested that the average person in the UK consumes 3,144 calories of non alcoholics liquids per week.


As with the overconsumption of any fats or sugars, drinking too many of these drinks can lead to obesity, and its associated complications including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University said that:

“What you drink can be as damaging to the body as what you eat and there is no question that consuming too many sugar-sweetened drinks can greatly contribute to abdominal obesity and, therefore, increase your likelihood of developing health conditions such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This analysis confirms that many people are perhaps not aware of the high calorie levels in many commonly consumed drinks. Some varieties of drinks such as pure fruit juices and smoothies which are perceived as ‘healthy’ options are also very high in sugar”.

Source: UK Press Association, Sugar warning for ‘healthy’ drinks, 17th April 2012

Photography: Uwe Hermann @Flickr

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