You'll be surprised at how much sugar is in your child's favourite drink

You'll be surprised at how much sugar is in your child's favourite drink

Careful mums and dads, the amount of sugar your child consume can creep up on them without you even realising it

According to a recent survey conducted by British charity organisation Action on Sugar, 98 per cent of the 131 hot flavoured drinks analysed would receive a "red" warning label for containing excessive sugar.

What about over here in Singapore?

A recent Straits Times report shows that many local drinks which are firm favourites among both adults and children, contain more than the amount of sugar in a can of Coke in Singapore, which has 6.8 teaspoons (tsp) of sugar.

Ms Claudia Correia, a dietitian at the Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, gave a breakdown on the amount of sugar in popular local drinks, with 5g of sugar making up 1 teaspoon:



Pepsi 29.5g (5.9 tsp)
Sprite 28g (5.6 tsp)
Red Bull 27g (5.4 tsp)
Coca-Cola 26.25g (5.25 tsp)
Horlicks with semi-skimmed milk 26g (5.2 tsp)
Milo dinosaur 23.75g (5.15 tsp)
Soy bean milk with sugar 24g (4.8 tsp)
Teh C 23.75g (4.75 tsp)
Orange juice, 100 per cent pasteurised 23g (4.6 tsp)
Kopi 22.5g (4.5 tsp)
Kopi kau 22.5g (4.5 tsp)
Teh 22.5g (4.5 tsp)
Watermelon juice 22.5g (4.5 tsp)
Bubble tea 18.75g (3.75 tsp)
Kopi C 18.25g (3.65 tsp)
Barley 17.5g (3.5 tsp)
Kopi siu dai 16.25g (3.25 tsp)
Teh halia 15g (3 tsp)
100plus 15g (3 tsp)
Grass jelly with sugar 12g (2.4 tsp)


It is recommended that a person who needs 1,800kcal of energy daily should consume less than 3 tablespoons (or 45g) of sugar, said Ms Correia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently recommended a further reduction -- below 5 per cent of your daily energy intake coming from added sugars for additional health benefits.

That means a person who needs 1800kcal of energy daily should consume less than 1.5 tablespoons of sugar (about 22g).

You don't necessarily need to get your child to boycott all of his favourite drinks – just make sure to reduce the amount of sugar being added to their drinks.

Click the next page for tips on how you and your family can cut down on sugar!

How you and your family can cut down on sugar

What’s in sugar?

Dr. Lustig, talking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondant for CNN, explains why sugar is so bad for our bodies.

Table sugar is made up equally of glucose and fructose. The former is the body’s preferred energy source and is easily metabolised, with any extra stored in our muscles or liver as glycogen.

Fructose, however, is not so good. This is metabolised only in the liver, which can handle only a certain amount of fructose at a time.

Anything extra turns to fat — in the liver — which, as you can imagine, is really bad. What’s even worse is that the excess fat enters your blood stream, increasing your chances of getting heart disease.

Watch the video below:

READ: Tips on how to improve your child's health in 10 days

Tips on how to avoid unnecessary sugar

  • Go for kopi O kosong or teh O kosong, as they contain no sugar
  • Ask for less/no sugar or less/no condensed milk
  • Look for the Healthier Choice label when buying packet or canned drinks
  • Drink your favourite drinks in moderation. Try drinking half the amount you normally do. Get your child to do the same and they'll feel healthier in no time
  • If you are making your own coffee/tea, it is advisable to use low fat milk or reduced sugar soy milk only and avoid adding sugar
  • Avoid three-in-one drinks as they are high in sugar. If it is hard to get your kids off their instant drinks, try adding only a third or half of the instant packet to the same amount of water you would normally use
  • When making fresh juices, try adding a bit of water to balance out the sugar levels

News Source: The Straits TimesAction on Sugar, World Health Organisation

What do you think of your child's sugar intake? Comment your thoughts on this below!

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Written by

Pavin Chopra

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