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Survey reveals high sugar content in fizzy drinks across globe

Published 02 October 2015

A new research by Action on Sugar (AoS) has revealed that sugar quantities in fizzy drinks vary across the globe - in some countries, the drinks contain more than seven teaspoons of sugar. This has triggered a need to cut down global sugar content at manufacturing level itself.

fizzy drinks

The findings indicate that in some countries certain brands contain twice the recommended range of daily sugar intake.

The survey was conducted by Action on Sugar with 274 samples of sugar-sweetened soft drinks produced across the world.

The data revealed that if every product with nutritional data was evaluated, they would receive a high red colour coded label if the products were to be consumed in a standard 330ml can.

Four out of seven cases revealed that countries with highest free sugar levels per 330ml were in North America, compared to countries in Europe, which had the lowest sugar content levels.

Action on Sugar found that 88% of brands across the world contained sugar levels higher than the recommended daily intake of 25gms.

The results showed that sugar-sweetened soft drinks need to be reformulated with lesser sugar just like the salt reduction programme in the UK.

Action on Sugar chairman Graham MacGregor said: "Overweight and obesity increases health-care costs and threatens the economic growth on which a country's future prosperity and wellbeing depend. This survey illustrates the fact that the soft drinks industry is part of the cause of the world's growing obesity pandemic and action must be taken now."

Action on Sugar nutritionist Kawther Hashem said: "It's high time soft drinks manufacturers around the world stop adding unnecessary sugars and calories to their products and work universally to set sugar reduction targets once and for all. Our research has shown discrepancies between the sugar content in the same carbonated drinks sold across the world and this needs to stop.

"People are drinking spoonful's of sugar in their carbonated drinks. Look on the label for 'sugars per 100ml' and switch to a lower or no added sugar variety of your favourite drink, or even better, don't drink them, they contain nothing of any nutritional value. Drink water and save money too!"

The UK campaign group is demanding action from the manufacturers and government to take immediate steps in curbing the sugar content in soft drinks.

Image: Fizzy drinks need to cut down sugar levels. Photo: Courtesy of tiverylucky/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.