Half of Kiwi kids' drinks contain 'too much sugar'

Half of Kiwi kids' drinks contain 'too much sugar'

A new study's found half of the drinks consumed by children in New Zealand exceed the recommended serving size.

Waiariki Institute of Technology researchers analysed the nutritional data of 656 beverages commonly available in supermarkets.

Unsurprisingly, fizzy drinks and fruit juices contained the most sugar - making up more than 85 percent of their total energy content.

And 48 percent percent were larger than the recommended 240ml serving size.

The study does reveal a slight downward trend in sugar content from a similar 2012 survey.

  • Carbonated drinks dropped from 10.44g/100ml to 8.7 g/100 ml.
  • Fruit juices reduced from 10.36 g/100ml to 9.8 g/100ml.

Though it's unclear whether the shift is due to a reduction in the amount of sugar added, or to manufacturers increasing the number of products that contain alternative sweeteners.

New Zealand Beverage Council figures released last year show a 4.2 percent decrease in consumption of regular soft drinks since 2010, while sales of low and no-calorie soft drink options have increased by 67 percent since 2008.

But Waiariki Institute of Technology researchers say that's not nearly enough.  They say the self-regulation of the beverage industry is not working and are calling for legislation to be introduced to decrease the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages to children.