Childhood obesity

Fruit drinks and cordials ‘contributing to childhood obesity’ (Irish Times newspaper -2nd Dec)
Sugar levels in popular drinks aimed at children are often as high as those in fizzy drinks
Parents have been warned that the sugar content of fruit drinks and cordials is contributing to childhood obesity.
A survey by Safefood has found sugar levels in a wide selection of popular drinks aimed at children are often as high as those in fizzy drinks.

According to Safefood a 200ml serving of Capri Sun Apple & Blackcurrant contains 20g of sugar.
A similar sized serving of Coca Cola contained 21.2g sugar while 200mls of Pepsi contained 21.2g sugar and the same serving of 7UP contained 22.4g sugar.
Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, director of human health and nutrition with Safefood said parents were under the impression that because some juice drinks use the term ‘fruit’ that they were a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks
“What parents may not realise is that these drinks are often really high in sugar and could contain as much sugar as ‘fizzy’ soft drinks.”

Professor Donal O’Shea, obesity specialist with the HSE said there is clear evidence linking the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks to overweight and obesity among children and adolescents.
He said water or milk were the best drinks for children.
Dr Foley-Nolan said a recent survey had found that 45 per cent of children were drinking soft drinks at least once a day or more.

She said parents should stop buying these drinks and should offer water at mealtimes.
Safefood advises that a small 100mls glass of 100 per cent fruit juice or a no sugar-added smoothie once a day is fine and counts as one of a child’s five a day