Food and Nutrition
Sugar-sweetened Beverages
​​Overview:
Sugar-sweetened beverages refer to any beverage with added sugar or other sweeteners (e.g. brown sugar, corn sweeteners, corn syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, and raw molasses).

Worldwide consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is high. These drinks contain sugars (e.g. sucrose or fructose), often in large quantities. This results in increased total energy consumption leading to unhealthy weight gain. 

Sugar-sweetened beverages and nutritional value:
Sugar-sweetened drinks contain high calories, with little or no nutritional value. This results in weight gain and can lead to various health risks, including obesity, tooth decay, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. 

What harm do sugar-sweetened beverages cause children?
  • Energy imbalance and weight gain;
  • High risk of tooth decay;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • ​Weight gain. This is due to the high calories and low nutritional value in sweetened drinks.

Benefits of reducing sweetened beverages consumption:
Reducing the consumption of sweetened drinks and sugar helps:
  • Reduce the risk of obesity in children;
  • ​Reduce the risk of tooth decay;
  • Reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Tips to help reduce consumption of added sugars:
  • Read nutritional labels on products. Make sure you know the amount of added sugars in a product before you buy it and encourage your children to do the same.
  • Limit your child's daily intake of added sugars to less than 6 teaspoons a day (for children over 2 years of age).
  • If your child is 2 years old or younger, avoid giving them added sugars altogether.
  • Replace sugar-sweetened juices with water and milk. Milk contains natural sugar (lactose) and provides calcium, protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients that children need.
  • Eat fresh foods and avoid canned foods and beverages as they usually contain added sugars (e.g. ketchup).

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