Sugary Beverage Statistics and Numbers
When it comes to selecting beverages for your child, the options are seemingly endless. Of course there are the numerous brands of soda, every type of fruit juice imaginable, various types of milk, water, lemonades, teas, energy drinks, and hundreds of flavors of sports drinks to choose from. These beverages are sweet, colorful, and often have fun names such as “kiwi-blast.” Yet are they really the best option for our kids today?
Many popular drinks such as juice, soda, and sports drinks are marketed towards children and in today’s world kids consume them regularly. In fact, research shows that on average, 91% of children are drinking over 200 calories a day from sugary drinks. Yes, you read that correctly, 91%, or 9 out of 10 children are drinking over 200 calories every 24 hours from sugary drinks. That means that over 200 calories ingested into a child’s body may be full of refined sugars with little nutritional value. How can this be?
While not entirely attributable to manufacturing sizes, if you take a quick trip down memory lane, you’ll find that beverage sizes have grown enormously over time. For example, in the early 1900’s 6.5oz was the standard size of sugary drinks sold. In the mid-1950’s that nearly doubled to 12oz. A few years later in the 1990’s, sugary drinks were manufactured into 20oz bottles. Today, you can purchase that same beverage in a 42oz size. That’s almost 7x more than when these products were first produced!
Today, soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks are often the drinks of choice. Examining each of these more closely, you may find that:
- A 20oz soda can have 15-18 teaspoons of sugar.
- One glass of juice (orange, apple, cran-grape, etc.) can have 10-12 teaspoons of sugar.*
- One sports drink can have 5-11 teaspoons of sugar.
*Contrary to popular belief, juice is typically no healthier than soda.
What are you supposed to make of this? Experts recommend that children consume less than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar daily from all food sources including drinks. Consuming excess sugar can contribute to obesity and other health issues. On the other hand, cutting it out can lead to better weight control in those who are overweight.