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Sugary Drinks Causing Obesity and Serious Health Issues

Sugary Drinks ObesityThe abundance of sugar found in soft drinks, energy drinks and many sports drinks is a serious cause for concern, contributing to Australia’s obesity problem and increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and kidney disease and stroke.

The Australian organisation, Rethink Sugary Drinks, a partnership of 12 health and community organisations says the average 600ml bottle of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar that would requires a three kilometre run to burn off.

“If you’re having a 600ml bottle a day, you’d have to run almost half a marathon each week just to burn off your soft drink habit,” the website states, adding anything not burnt off can lead to weight gain and obesity.

The organisation encourages Australians to rethink their sugary drink consumption and cautions people against sugar disguised as a ‘healthy’ ingredient such as honey, rice syrup, or even ‘organic dehydrated cane juice’.

“It might sound wholesome but these are still sugars and can still cause [tooth] decay and lead to weight gain if consumed frequently,” a media release on the website says.

“Refer to the amount of sugar on the nutrition panel if in doubt and consider the size of the bottle,” it adds.

 

Young Males Biggest Consumers:

“Teenagers and young adults, especially males, are the biggest indulgers when it comes to downing sugary drinks on a regular basis,” according to the Cancer Council Australia Public Health Committee Chair, Craig Sinclair.

He says that some young men aged 19-30 consume 1.5L of sugary drinks each day which would require they run more than 52km each week to burn off the calories consumed.

Sinclair says the average person aged 19-30 consumes around 590ml of sugary drink each day and would need to run almost 19km each week to burn off those calories.

“With 63% of Australian adults currently overweight or obese, it is critical that people realise how unhealthy these drinks are,” Sinclair says, while encouraging people to consume more water.

 

Fluid Consumption for Tradies

With tradies often working in hot conditions in multiple layers of clothing and PPE, high sweat rates means the replacement of fluids and lost sodium is critical to maintaining hydration and ensuring safety and productivity. Furthermore, beverage taste may encourage fluid consumption and hydration maintenance.

However, given many tradies fit into the 19-30 year-old category of the “biggest consumers” of sugary drinks, educating them on the importance of healthy hydration with water and low-sugar or zero-sugar drinks is critical.

The replacement of sodium, electrolytes and amino acids lost during periods of heavy sweating is also important. While eating well should normally fulfil dietary requirements, a loss of appetite is common during exercise or when working in the heat, in which case a low-sugar electrolyte drink with added amino acids is ideal.

In fact the overconsumption of water during or after prolonged periods of heavy sweating can dilute the amount of salt in the body and lead to the dangerous condition of Hyponatremia which has caused many deaths among otherwise healthy Aussies hiking the Kokoda trail.

For more information download the Thorzt Workplace Dehydration White Paper.

 

Figure 1.0 Sugar Content of Sports Drinks | Source: www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au (Thorzt values added)

Sports drink Sugar per 100ml Sugar per bottle
Grams Tsps Grams Tsps
Lucozade Orange 380ml 14 .1 3.5 53.6 13.4
Lucozade Original 380ml 9.1 2.3 34.6 8.6
Maximus 1 litre* 7.6 1.9 76 19
Powerade Mountain Blast 600ml* 7.3 1.8 43.6 11
Powerade Berry Ice 600ml* 7.3 1.8 43.6 11
Gatorade Fierce Grape 600ml 6 1.5 36 9
Gatorade Tropical 600ml 6 1.5 36 9
THORZT Low Sugar 3.37 0.8 20.22 5
THORZT ZERO Sugar ZERO 0 ZERO 0
Note: 1 teaspoon = 4g
*Sugar includes maltodextrin

 

Figure 2.0 Sugar Content of Other Drinks | Source: www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au

 Drink  Serving size  Grams of sugar (per serve)  Grams of sugar (per 100ml)
 Coca Cola  375ml  40g  10.6g
 Coca Cola  600ml  64g  10.6g
 Sprite  600ml  61g  10.1g
 Fanta  375ml  42g  11.2g
 Solo  600ml  72.6g  12.1g
 V Energy Drink  500ml  53g  10.6g
 Red Bull  250ml  27g  11g
 Mother  500ml  52g  10.4g
 Gatorade: Fierce Grape flavour  600ml  36g  6g
 Powerade: Mountain Blast flavour  600ml  34g  5.7g
 Spring Valley Smart Water: Armour flavour  500ml  33g  6.6g
 Vitamin Water: Essential flavour  500ml  27g  5.49g
 Lipton Ice Tea: Peach flavour  500ml  26.5g  5.3g