How much sugar is in your drink?

In New Zealand, it is estimated that we consume around 60g (14 teaspoons) of 'free sugars' per day in the food we eat and in what we drink. Adults should ideally have no more than about 6 teaspoons per day, and children no more than about 3 to 4 teaspoons per day - so we are well over-shooting the mark!

Free sugars include:

- Agave nectar
- Brown sugar
- Caramel
- Coconut sugar
- Fructose
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose
- Golden syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Honey
- Invert sugar
- Maltodextrose
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Raw sugar
- Rice malt syrup

They do not include the sugar in fruit or vegetables, provided you are eating them WHOLE and not juiced, or in cow’s milk or plain unsweetened yoghurt where the sugar is naturally occurring. It is only sugars that are added, such as in chocolate flavoured milk or fruit yoghurt, that is considered part of the ‘free sugars’.

Sugary drinks, also known as sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), can contain a surprising amount of sugar. For example, a single 355ml can of fizzy drink may contain up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, and a 600ml bottle may contain 16-18 teaspoons of sugar. 

Having too many sugary drinks increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay in children and adults. Children who have one sugary drink or more per day are 50% - 60% more likely to be overweight or obese than children who do not. Having one or two sugary drinks per day may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%. The high sugar content and acidity of many sugary drinks can also cause tooth decay.

Check out the image above to see how much sugar is hiding in your drink!



Published By

Claire Turnbull



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