The World of Mysteries blog has a list of the 20 most harmful drinks in America. The post compares the sugar in drinks like Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water and Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with dessert equivalents (and each drink has a disgustingly delicious-looking photo). For example, check out the write up on kid-targeted ‘fruit’ drink, Twister:
14. Worst Kids’ Drink
Tropicana Tropical Fruit Fury Twister (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
0 g fat
60 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: Two 7-ounce canisters Reddi-wip
A few people in the comments have dinged the post for comparing sugar in drinks to the sugar in desserts, pointing out that the calorie counts are much different. For example, the Rockstar Energy drink has 62 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 6 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, but only 280 calories. A single glazed donut has 200 calories. Obviously, eating six donuts is going to have a worse effect on health than drinking a can of Rockstar energy drink.
But I still think a visual reminder of how much sugar we’re consuming in 20 ounces of liquid is valuable. Last year, the American Heart Association released a statement saying women should consume six teaspoons of added sugar a day and men should consume nine. (“Added sugar” is sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in unprocessed foods.) But Americans, on average, consume 22 teaspoons daily, and one-third of that sugar consumption comes from soft drinks. Amazingly, only 16 percent comes from actual sugar, or candy and desserts.
I’ve said it before, but there’s just too much sugar in adult and child diets, and for children, it’s especially worrying. Too much sugar can create addict-like responses, and it conditions the palate to desire more sweetness, making it difficult to get kids to eat healthier foods (or even drink white milk).