Recent research from Glasgow University has indicated that many people underestimate the sugar content of soft drinks that are often considered healthy.
The researchers surveyed 2,000 people in the UK about their weekly drinking habits and asked the participants to estimate how many teaspoons of sugar was in a variety of soft drinks.
On average, people consumed 450 calories a day in the form of soft drinks. This represents about a quarter of the recommended daily calorie intake of 1940 calories for women and about a fifth of the 2550 calories for men. Furthermore, many of the participants were not accounting for this in their diets.
At the same time, many people overestimate how much sugar is in fizzy drinks, whilst underestimating the levels in healthy drinks, such as fruit juices and smoothies.
The researchers warned that this lack of knowledge was cause for concern. Drinking too many soft drinks can contribute to obesity problems and is also a increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
A lead researcher on the study warned that what you drink can damage your body in the same way that your eating habits can. They added: “For many people struggling with their weight, reducing their intake of such drinks and replacing with water or diet drinks would be a sensible first target to help them lessen their calorie intake.”
The British Soft Drinks Association point out that sugar and calorie levels in soft drinks are not hidden and labels provide clear nutritional information.