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Sugary drinks, also known as 'soft' drinks, have been shown to increase the risk of unhealthy weight gain. It can be easy to forget that drinks contribute to our daily energy (kilojoule, kj) intake as much as our foods do.  Nevertheless, it's true.

Sugar sweetened drinks can contribute to: 

  • Weight gain 

  • Tooth decay 

  • Reduced bone density and osteoporosis  

  • Liver disease 

  • Type 2 Diabetes  

  • And more  

Each can of 'soft' drink consumed per day increases the risk of becoming obese by 60%. 

Diet drinks 

Diet soft drinks are not recommended, even if they have fewer kilojoules than sugar-sweetened drinks. Diet soft drinks have been linked to overeating and weight gain, and such drinks should be consumed only very occasionally, if at all. There is not enough evidence at the moment to show that artificial sweeteners are safe to consume. What's more, Diet drinks, like regular drinks, also contain acids, which can lead to tooth decay. 

Healthier alternatives 

Water and low fat milk are the preferred drinks. Water hydrates us and has added fluoride for stronger teeth. , while low- fat milk can give us protein and calcium both important for strong bones and muscles. Blending fresh or frozen fruit with yoghurt and/or milk can also create a refreshing drink. Remember that you only need 2 serves of fruit each day though. 

 You’re not only looking after your health but also the environment by reducing plastic waste and, at the same time, saving money. 

Work out how much sugary drinks are costing you with the calculators below: 

[Source: Australian Dietary Guidelines; Rethink Sugary Drink; Raising Children Network] 

Related topics 

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