What are Sugar Sweetened Beverages?
Sugar sweetened beverages are drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other caloric sweeteners. They are a source of nutrition-less or “empty” calories and are suspected of greatly contributing to the current obesity epidemic. Additionally, some popular sweetened beverages contain caffeine that can have a negative impact on children’s and adults’ health.
Sugar Content in Popular Beverages
Don’t be fooled by the grams of sugar and calories listed on the standard beverage bottle label, which is for just one serving. Often times, in a 20 oz. bottle there are 2.5 servings. However, many children and adults will drink the entire bottle rather than sticking with just one serving from the bottle. So, in reality they are consuming 2.5 times the amount of sugar and calories listed.
The beverage examples listed below are container sizes of sugar sweetened beverages commonly purchased at convenience stores and vending machines, which is the same as the amount served at many restaurants.
|Sugar Sweetened Beverage||
Total Teaspoons |
|Regular Cola||20 oz. bottle||65||16||240|
|Citrus Soda||20 oz. bottle||77||19||290|
|Sweetened Iced Tea||20 oz. can||58||15||219|
|Sports Drinks||20 oz. bottle||35||9||130|
|Vitamin Waters||20 oz. bottle||33||8||125|
|Sweetened Lemonade||20 oz. bottle||67||17||260|
Whenever possible, choose healthful beverage alternatives for yourself and children that are low in sugar, calories, and caffeine. Some alternatives might include water with sliced fruit such as oranges, sparkling water, diluted 100% juice, unsweetened ice tea, or low-fat milk.
Did You Know?
When drinking a standard 20 ounce bottle of cola, it is the equivalent of eating 16 sugar cubes or 16 teaspoons of sugar!
A child who drinks just a can of regular soda a day could add an extra 15 pounds in a year.