Through the roof sugar content sparks debate over labeling beverages

Soft drinks and juices have an outrageous amount of sugar, which has caused debate over weather companies should label sugar in teaspoons rather than grams
By Jason Spencer | Feb 20, 2016
The sugar levels in drinks today are through the roof. Of course, soft drinks are the biggest culprit, but those who opt for juice aren't safe either. A few organizations are vying to bring down sugar consumption by labeling beverages differently.

According to Asia One, a recent survey by British charity organization Action on Sugar reported that out of 131 hot drinks, 98% of them had sugar levels well above recommended levels. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; many drinks were shown to have just as much sugar or even more sugar than a can of Coke.

That much sugar could lead to some very serious consequences down the road. Besides obesity, too much sugar increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and severe tooth decay.

The Daily Mail reports that the onsets of these problems begin as early as childhood. In the UK alone 40% of children between the ages of 11 and 15 consume at least one sugary drink each day. As a way to counter these numbers, health groups have advised that manufactures put their sugar content in teaspoons rather than grams.

"In many cases, parents and children are unaware of exactly how much sugar these fizzy drinks contain," said Izzi Seccombe of the Local Government Association. "We are calling on manufacturers to provide clearer, front-of-product labeling that shows how much sugar soft drinks have in teaspoons."

While soft drink producers argue that sugar content is already labeled on the package, Seccombe says that it isn't enough. A switch from grams to teaspoons would give consumers a clearer image of how much sugar they're taking in.

"Raising awareness of sugar quantities and giving families a more informed choice is crucial if we are to make a breakthrough in the fight against tooth decay and obesity," she said.

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