Sugary drinks are drinks that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars like brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose. Examples include fizzy drinks, teas or coffees, flavoured waters, flavoured milk, drinking yoghurt and sport and energy drinks. Fruit juices have a similar energy and sugar content as beverages that have added sugar and are therefore regarded as sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks contribute to weight gain due to their high added sugar content, low satiety and potential incomplete compensation for total energy leading to increased energy intake. In addition, because of their high amounts of sugar and large quantities consumed, sugary drinks may increase diabetes and cardiovascular risk, independent of obesity as a contributor to a high dietary glycaemic load (GL) leading to inflammation and insulin resistance. Growth in the non-alcoholic beverage sector has increased significantly since the early 1990s in the country. From 1998, the market for soft drinks in South Africa has more than doubled from 2 294 million litres to 4 746 million litres in 2012.
Based on manufacturer’s food labels, a 500 ml bottle carbonated (‘fizzy’) soft drink in South Africa contains an average of 15 teaspoons of sugar and the same size of fruit juice about the same. Drinking approximately 250 ml sugary drink daily increases the likelihood of being overweight by 27% for adults and 55% for children. Higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages by one serving per day was associated with an 18 per cent greater incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Did you know?