Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sugar dummies provide advice to sugar daddies & sugar mummies

A Deakin study has found that kids who drink fruit juices are twice as likely as kids overall to get fat. Has that got something to do with the fact that fruit juices contain nearly as much sugar as soft drinks? Is is just that loving parents, teachers and government bureaucrats 'encourage' kids to drink this poisonous rubbish in the name of health?

Dr Suzy Honisett, manager of the Victorian Government's child health program, Kids Go For Your Life, said many parents and carers wrongly believed juice and fruit drinks were a healthy alternative to soft drinks. "We are certainly aware of the issues around soft drinks and their role in childhood overweight and obesity, but fruit juice has slipped under the radar," she said.

Oh really! Slipped under the radar? How on earth could Dr Honisett, or parents for that matter, be fooled into believing that fruit drinks provide a healthy alternative? And why the need for a ‘survey’ by the Deakin researchers? What is the point of banning soft drinks in Victorian schools on the basis of sugar content when sugar-dominated fruit drinks remain on sale. The sugar content of these fruit drinks is no state secret - it is printed on the containers in which they are sold? Moreover

I quote from an earlier post:

Victoria has just banned the sale of high sugar soft drinks in its 1,600 public schools from next year. The sale of fruit juices is encouraged as a substitute. The rationale is that the consumption of even a single bottle of soft drink more than exceeds the recommended intake of calories from sugar per day for a 14 year-old child. Irrespective of whether this nutritional objective is sound or not (I think it is sound) if the objective is to reduce sugar content the proposed ban might help but probably not by much.At lunch today I bought a 600 ml small Coke. Its sugar content per 'serving' (defined to be 200 ml) was 21.2 grams. But I don't ever recognise people drinking 1/3 of a small coke. Theytypically scoff the lot so in fact they get 63.6 grams. This is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of powdered sugar or over 15 teaspoons of sugar from a sugar bowl. By the way, I didn't drink this rubbish - I poured it down the drain!

My friend John bought a healthy Just Squeezed Orange Juice in a 300 ml container. The 'serving' size is now more honestly taken as 300ml which contains 21.3 grams of sugar. 600 ml of this healthy drink contains, yes, 42.6 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar from a sugar bowl.

It is not rocket science to make choices which avoid overwhelming sugar loads – the sugar content information is on the label.

9 comments:

conrad said...

Actually, I don't think that argument is correct. The type of sugar in fruit drinks is usually different to soft drinks, and I'll assume possibly incorrectly not as unhealthy to drink (this is definitely true of long distance athletics -- where they type of sugar found in fruit drinks (fructose) is not the one you want -- which is glucose -- such as that found in cordials -- since it is easier and faster to assimilate).

My bet is that all they are measuring is parents that try too hard to provide decent food for their children and possibly also parents that tend to buy pre-made food -- How many kids are lucky enough to have a nice bottle of fruit juice in their lunch box?

Francis Xavier Holden said...

I'm assuming if an economist did a study on drinks it wouldn't be such a "waiste" of time.

I know one can read labels but it's bloody hard to keep track.

I must say I appreciate those comparison tables that the paper did on drink. I had forgotten how much sugar was in fruit juice.

I righteously sneer at those who drink soft drink and especially at those who buy trolley loads at the supa mart but I was smugly scoffing glasses of orange juice all day until I saw the comparison chart.

harry - as a service to the community could you do a spread sheet.

Across the top I'd like sugar content, danger to health and contribution to global warming, contribution to australian happiness, kilometres from farm to mouth, and cost benefits and NPV.

Down the side: orange juice, milk, water, tobacco, dope, red wine, Little Creatures beer, Whisky (single malt vs blended)and coffee and tea.

I'm sure you can get a grant.

If not just wander over to the Sport marketing Dept - I hear they are flush.

Thanks

hc said...

Counrad, I think fructose corn syrup is used as a cheap sweetner in soft drinks not sucrose. Animal studies suggest fructose induces high bloog pressure, high triglycerides, impaired glucose tolerance just as sucrose will. Some believe fructose causes weight gain because it is metabolised into fat in the liver. It doesn't stimulate insulin production and therefore leptin - hence you still feel hungry after drinking lots of soft-drink.

fxh, My earlier post gave info on the sugar content of soft drinks and fruit drinks together with a calculator showing how to covert grams into teaspoons of sugar.

If you look at the labels you get a shock - it might not be a weird claim to say that the obesity crisis in kids can be largely attributed to soft driinks and fruit juices.

Sam Ward said...

Fructose is used in the US coca-cola recipe because their agricultural subsidy to corn growers makes it cheaper than cane sugar. Australian recipes use Sucrose.

Of course Harry has just discovered the dirty little secret of the war on Coca-Cola.

It's not sugar that the do-gooders are opposed to, as fruit juice is just fine. It's the Coca-Cola brand and the feeling of helplessness in the face of American corporate power that really gets these idiots' goats.

By the way, I didn't drink this rubbish - I poured it down the drain!

Doesn't sound the actions of a rational person to me.

Plenty of people consume these products without getting fat.

Coca-cola is the most popular beverage in the world, and yet most of the people in the world are not Obese.

And Harry, despite your superior ability to identify harmful foods, you aren't exactly wasting away yourself. So perhaps you shouldn't be telling the (skinny) schoolkids what they can and can not drink.

Sam Ward said...

Oh and the other point is that its not necessarily a bad thing to give your kids fruit juice in any case. Despite the sugar (which isn't bad for kids as long as they aren't sloths), fruit juice does contain vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients, whereas soft drink is just carbonated water and sugar.

Sam Ward said...

And while we're witchhunting here, let's not forget the MOST fattening drink that kids can get: Flavoured Milk.

Give 1 kid nothing but coke for a month, and the other nothing but Choc Chill, and the kid drinking Choc Chill is going to be twice the size in a very short time.

And the government still produces ads telling us how healthy it is to give your kids milk...

hc said...

Sam, I'll check out the lactose content of a chocky milk today. You might be right.

Of course the odd Coke is no problem but in the US where kids are drinking 200 litres per year of soft drink and where each litre contains huge sugar levels its a problem.

This post by the way, is mainly about fruit juice not soft drink.

No I am not fading away - not that that has much to do with anything.

Dean Rizzetti said...

OK I have two very dumb questions...

Firstly, are we talking about fruit juice with no added sugar or are we talking about fruit drink that most certainly does have added sugar?

Secondly, if we are talking about fruit juice with no added sugar doesn't it follow that fruit is full of far too much sugar.

hc said...

Dean, Its not a dumb question but modern fruits are designed to have high sugar content and the liars in the public health system pretend that it doesn't matter. It does.