55% of the drinks were found to over the 30g limit
Fizzy drinks such as Coca Cola, Ginger Beer, and even orange juices, contain more sugar than is recommended for adults.
Free sugar is a term coined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The sugars refer to natural sugars and ones added.
A study by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed the results using 330ml. A total of 169 drinks were studied. 55% of the drinks were found to over the 30g limit.
Out of these, it was Ginger Beer that contained the most sugars. It contains 38.5g of sugar against the 30g recommendation.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) issued the limit in a warning against the dangers of consuming too much sugar.
In the BMJ study, flavoured Cola came second with a 37.5g of sugar, and normal cola at 35g. Ginger ale contained the lowest amounts of sugar at 22.9g. Orange flavoured drinks were found to have 32.5g of sugar.
The supermarket own brands contained fewer sugars than the branded drinks.
The SACN stated that these free sugars should not exceed 5% of total energy intake. Consumers are unaware of the high sugars in drinks because only total sugar is issued on labels.
In addition, the government has proposed a plan to tax high sugar fizzy drinks in 2018. Drinks with free sugars over 30g will have a higher tax than those below it.
Ivkiran Kaur, 20, from Slough, thinks the findings are rather shocking, but will not directly affect her drinking them. She said: “I think it’s really bad all those drinks are over the limit in sugar. Because it affects our health.
“But, I would carry on drinking them because I’ve been drinking things like coca cola for a while. Although, I shouldn’t have to pay a tax to but the drinks. It’s my choice after all.”
However, Zara Ahmed, 29, a biology teacher from Blackburn had a slightly different view. She said: “I usually drink Coca-Cola if I do drink fizzy drinks. I’m not surprised at the amount of sugar in it, but I do know a lot of people are oblivious to this.
“The tax on the drinks is a good idea for the nation. It could help save the NHS a lot of money which they normally spend on treating and controlling people with type 2 diabetes.”
The SACN in a report, state clearly that drinking high sugar drinks can result in type 2 diabetes. This is along with tooth decay, high BMI (Body Mass Index) and weight gain.
WHO suggests that lowering free sugar consumption will decrease these risks. Drinks like Coca-Cola and Ginger Beer should be avoided.
Dr Francesco Branca is the Director of WHO’s department of Nutrition for Health and Development. He states that: “We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay.”
All this research serves as a warning against high free sugar intake. So, reviewing what fizzy drinks you drink and how much of them could be beneficial to your long-term health.