Sat, Jul 19, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Kids consume too many sweet drinks: foundation

By Regina Hsu  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Nearly 50 percent of the nation’s children consume at least one cup of sugary drinks a day, which can have a detrimental effect on a child’s concentration, energy and overall nutrition, John Tung Foundation spokeswoman Chen Shu-li (陳淑麗) said yesterday.

It can be difficult to determine if drinks contain sugar because of misleading packaging and parents should be careful about what their children drink, she said.

The foundation’s nutrition director, Sheu Hui-yu (�?�), said: “Children can mistake juice drinks for 100 percent juice due to the packaging or pieces of fruit in the drink, while in fact these drinks sometimes only contain 10 percent fruit juice.”

“Most drinks contain sugar, food coloring and flavoring, making the intake all sugar water. While sugar water is not completely without nutritional value, too much can result in diabetes, the fourth leading cause of death in Taiwan,” foundation chairman Hsieh Mang-hsiung (謝孟雄) said.

“A 600mL bottle of soda contains 15 sugar cubes and would require one to climb 210 stories or roughly the equivalent of climbing Taipei 101 twice to burn off the energy,” Sheu said.

Statistics provided at the press conference said that one out of three schoolboys was overweight, while one out of every four girls was overweight.

Sheu said that one should separate drinks into three categories: drinks for daily use, occasional drinks and drinks to avoid. She said milk, unsweetened soybean milk, water and fresh squeezed fruit or vegetable juices are the healthiest.

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