In New Zealand, we consume on average about 37 teaspoons of sugar per day in the food we eat and in what we drink. Adults should ideally consume no more than about six teaspoons of sugar per day, and children no more than about three to four teaspoons per day.
Sugary drinks, also known as sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), can contain a surprising amount of sugar. For example, a single 355mL can of fizzy drink may contain up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, and a 600mL bottle may contain 16-18 teaspoons of sugar.
Consuming sugary drinks increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay in children and adults. Children who consume one sugary drink or more per day are 50% - 60% more likely to be overweight or obese than children who do not. Having one or two sugary drinks per day may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%. The high sugar content and acidity of many sugary drinks can cause tooth decay.
Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service (Toi Te Ora) recommends water and plain milk as the preferred drinks for children and supports initiatives that reduce the promotion, availability and consumption of sugary drinks. Read Toi Te Ora's position statement on sugar sweetened beverages.
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