Thursday, March 24, 2016

Smoothies contain "unacceptably high'' levels of sugar - UK research

The sugar content of fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies, is “unacceptably high”, according to new research by British experts.

Almost half the products assessed contained at least a child’s entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake, according to the research published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) Open.

Smoothies were among the worst offenders in terms of sugar content, despite their generally wholesome image.

The study by UK scientists looked only at products specifically marketed at children, and excluded consideration of sugar-sweetened drinks and sports drinks.

While many of the juice drinks contained sucrose (table sugar), the fructose naturally found in fruit juices is also classed as "free sugar". Free sugars include sucrose, glucose and fructose.

The fructose naturally present in fruit juices and smoothies is as likely to cause dental decay as all other sugars, and increased consumption of sugary drinks has also been linked to childhood obesity.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool assessed the sugar content of 203 fruit juice drinks, 100 percent natural juices, and smoothies. Smoothies contained the highest amount of sugar.

The British Government recently announced a tax on soft drinks.