Sugar in drinks proven more dangerous

10 May 2019

Sugary drinks is more dangerous than sugar in foods.

A paper recently published by Auckland University researchers has revealed that sugar in drinks is more dangerous than sugar in foods.

Leading child health and obesity experts say this underlines the call for a tax on sugary drinks as a top-priority action to tackle Aotearoa New Zealand’s interconnected epidemics of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and rotten teeth.

Researchers found that compared to sugar in solid food, sugar in drinks carries a greater risk of causing harmful metabolic changes that lead to chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.

Unlike other countries, we're drinking more sugary drinks than ever before, renewing calls for the Government to introduce a sugar tax.

Worldwide, it has estimated that there are 184,000 premature deaths per year due to sugar-sweetened beverages, mostly due to diabetes.

The study found that New Zealand's consumption of drinks has increased from 2002 to 2016, compared to the United Kingdom and United States where consumption is steadily falling.

New Zealanders are drinking fewer soft drinks, but more juice, sports and energy drinks - an average energy drink contains about seven teaspoons of sugar per cup, compared with six teaspoons in fizzy drink.

Public health researchers are now urging the government to introduce a tax targeted at sugary drinks.

Our Pacific communities have some of the highest rates of preventable diseases in the world and excessive consumption of sugar can lead to obesity, weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, gout, and tooth decay.

In 2017, Auckland University student Paul Nai researched cultural factors that drive the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages in New Zealand's Pacific Island Communities. His findings suggest that feasts at weddings, birthdays and funerals could be providing the perfect environment for Pacific people to overindulge in sugary drinks.

We urge our families and communities to take extra notice of sugary drinks which carry a greatrisk of causing harmful effects to our bodies and lead to chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.

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