On Monday, a USA Today-commissioned study revealed that Americans, including children, are consuming less sugar. This study got a lot of attention and overshadowed another study released by UC San Francisco on the same day.
That study confirmed that California children are consuming less soda, but found that African American and Latino children are much more likely to replace soda with fruity juices than their white peers. This is troubling since many sugary juices have as much sugar, if not more, than soda.
For children ages 2 to 5, researchers found that consumption of two or more servings of 100 percent fruit juice per day decreased among white children and increased among Latino children. For older children, consumption of juice increased among Latinos and African-Americans. Research has shown that every extra sugary drink children consume per day increases their chance of obesity by 60%.
Lead researcher Amy Beck, MD, MPH from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital said, “Our results stress the need for more education on healthy beverages and making sure these messages reach all ethnic groups. It’s crucial that the public health message reflect that 100 percent fruit juice should be limited, and not used as a substitute for soda.”
That’s exactly the point of our bilingual Sugar Bites campaign. Through advertisements, a website, brochures, social media, and more, we’re providing parents with information about how they can protect their children and replace sugary drinks with water. Here’s a few tips:
Avoid the sugary drink aisle at the supermarket.
If you do serve juice, choose only 100% juice and only serve 4-6 ounces for kids ages 1-6. Other “juice” or “fruit” drinks have a lot of added sugar and calories. 100% juice still has a lot of natural sugar so keep portions small.
Add a splash of juice or slices of fruit to a glass of water. Flavor water with slices of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, cucumber, apple, mint or basil.
Read drink labels and look for hidden sugars. They have many names like: sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, evaporated cane juice, cane sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, honey, molasses and more.
Learn more at www.cutsugarydrinks.org.