Parents are very careful about what and how much their kids drink or consume. Fizzy drinks such are Coke and soda are often forbidden because they contain a ton of sugar and they are not good for the overall health of the child. However, most parents allow their children to drink drinks labeled as “fruit drinks” such as Sunny D, Capri sun etc. The question is, are these drinks really that healthy as stated on the label?
Artificial sugar and many additives made soda one of the worst drinks for the population and especially children. It contains a lot of calories which is number one reason for obesity in children and health issues. Most fast food chains such as Burger King don’t allow soda on the kids’ menu.
But when it comes to other popular kids’ drinks, a new study finds that parents are often deceived into believing they are healthier than soda—or just healthy in general.
In an online survey of nearly 1,000 parents, researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that while 62 percent of parents said they had given their kids soda at least once in the past month, nearly 80 percent had provided “fruit drinks,” a category that excludes beverages made from 100 percent fruit juice. That’s despite well over half of the respondents saying they were either somewhat or very concerned about the amount of sugar their kids consume.
How to explain the discrepancy? As one of the study’s authors, Jennifer Harris, put it in a statement “Although most parents know that soda is not good for children, many still believe that other sugary drinks are healthy. The labeling and marketing for these products imply that they are nutritious, and these misperceptions may explain why so many parents buy them.”
Think about it: If Sunny D touted the 11 grams of sugar in each 6.75-ounce bottle instead of “100% Vitamin C,” you’d probably think twice about buying it for your kids. Ditto for those Hi-C juice boxes, which likewise give top billing to the vitamin C content while burying that they contain a whopping 25 grams of sugar per box. There is, rather amazingly, more sugar in every ounce of Hi-C fruit punch than regular Coke, while a single pouch of Capri Sun fruit punch packs as much sugar as the American Heart Association recommends preschoolers consume in an entire day.
On the other side, the so called “fruit juices” are not that safe. A study confirmed that these juices are made from 10% fruit juice and some contain even less. You can only guess the rest of the ingredients to these drinks.
Other drinks which are considered very harmful are sport drinks and energy drinks. Most adolescents think that they will perform better in the gym and achieve better results if they consume these drinks. This is not true because sport drinks often contain more sugar then the recommended daily dose. This sugar gives you an instant boost in energy but it makes more harm than good to your body. Just for example take one Gatorade Prime which contains 23 g of sugar – according to AHA the recommended daily intake of sugar for adolescents is 21 – 33 g. Maybe you think that this is OK since is in the recommended dose but during the day you also consume other food that contains sugar and thus you overpass this limit.
So what should kids be drinking instead? Echoing the advice of public health advocates, Harris recommends sticking to water, low-fat milk and, in limited quantities, 100 percent fruit juice. Her rule of thumb as you make your way through the grocery store? “The more health messages on the front of the package, the less healthy the product is,” she tells The Washington Post. “You have to ignore the messages on the front of the package, and if the first ingredient is sugar, put it back.”