Parents Have Mistaken Beliefs About Sugary Drinks

It is well known that sugary drinks are associated with obesity. A child is 60 percent more likely to become obese for every 8 ounces of a high-sugar drink consumed in a day. What some parents do not know is how many drinks are filled with sugar.

 In a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, researchers surveyed 1,000 parents about their knowledge of drinks with a high sugar content. Nearly 50 percent of parents thought that flavored water was healthy, and more than 25 percent thought that fruit drinks and sports drinks were healthy, even though they are the main source of sugar in the diets of children in the United States.

Most parents believe these drinks to be healthier than soda or soft drinks, although evidence shows they are as unhealthy as soda. The labeling and marketing for these products do imply that they are nutritious, and these misperceptions may explain why many parents buy them, according to Jennifer Harris, Ph.D.

Fruit drinks should be limited, and only 100 percent fruit juice options have enough health benefits to outweigh the sugar intake. Water is always the best choice for parents to give their child.
(Source: Public Health Nutrition, 2015)

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