Experts Say Kids’ Drinks Have Too Much Sugar

Released: 3/25/2016

A new British study has found that many commercially sold fruit juices and drinks for kids load them up with a full day’s worth of sugar in a single serving.

The recommended daily maximum sugar intake for children is five teaspoons (19 grams) of sugar, the researchers say. One serving of a drink should not provide the full quota. And often kids’ drinks are marketed as being healthful, which is confusing to parents.

The leader of the British study was Simon Capewell, a professor at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool. His team calculated levels of "free" sugars in 200-milliliter sizes (nearly 7 ounces) of 203 fruit drinks, 100 percent natural juices and smoothies marketed specifically to children. These sugars included fructose, glucose, table sugar and sucrose as well as natural sugars in honey, syrups fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

What is a parent to do ? Parents should give children fresh fruit instead of fruit juice, Capewell said. When giving children fruit juice, choose unsweetened juice, dilute juice with water, only serve it during meals, and limit the amount to 150 ml (about 5 ounces) a day.

Other ways to avoid added sugar in your family’s diet.