The Dangers of Sugary Drinks

A lot of attention has recently been given to the health risks presented by excessive consumption of sugary drinks such as soft drinks, sports drinks, cordials and fruit drinks.

Many of us may not be aware just how much sugar is contained in some of our favourite drinks and how this high energy intake is linked to weight gain and obesity which is well documented as a major risk factor for cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So How Much Sugar is in Our Favourite Drinks?

  • A 375ml can of soft drink can contain the equivalent of 10 sachets of sugar.
  • A 600ml sports drink can contain the equivalent to nine sachets of sugar.

The Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation have recently launched a campaign to increase the awareness of the dangers of excessive consumption of sugary drinks and to encourage Australians to switch to healthier options. In highlighting the amount of sugar consumed in drinks such as  sports / energy drinks, soft drink, cordials and other sugar sweetened drinks, they aim to encourage Australians to switch to healthier options such as reduced-fat milk, unsweetened options or of course, water.

Australia is in the top 10 countries for soft drink consumption per capita.  Young Australians in particular are very high consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks. A 2007 survey identified that that 47% of children consumed sugar-sweetened beverages (including energy drinks) every day.

So What Are The Dangers?

It is a simple equation – if you eat and drink more energy than you use, you will gain weight.  Obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. According to Oxford University Researchers, children categorized as overweight or obese as young as five are showing signs they could be at risk of heart attacks and stroke later in life.  Results from the study show that obese and overweight children had higher blood pressure than their normal-weight peers. These symptoms are known cardiovascular disease risk factors.

It has been estimated that the risk of type-2 diabetes is 26% greater among the highest consumers of sugar sweetened drinks.

How would a critical illness to your child affect you and your family? You would want them to have access to the best medical treatment and assistance money could buy, wouldn’t you?  At Make A Difference Insurance we offer Trauma Insurance for both adults and children, which may pay a lump sum in the unfortunate event that you or a family member is diagnosed with a critical illness such as complications associated with diabetes or chronic heart disease. With financial concerns less of a burden, you are free to concentrate on the most important things in most people’s lives, – your family and your health.

In most cases child critical illness insurance is available to a parent(s) who have existing life or trauma insurance policies, and cover for the children is an add-on to their existing policy at an affordable price.

Although our Trauma Insurance policy (also called critical illness insurance for children), does cover some illness states with a link obesity, reducing consumption now of these sugar laden drinks can help you and your family maintain a healthy weight, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes, heart attack or stroke.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • Find out how much sugar is in your favourite drink.
  • If you’re thirsty, have some water first. Carry a water bottle (and send your child to school with one), so you don’t have to buy a drink if you’re thirsty.
  • Be wary of any health or nutrition claims on sugary drinks – learn how to read the nutrition panel.
  • Look for no added sugar options if you buy fruit juices.

Further information about the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign can be found here. 

To find out more about how Trauma Insurance can protect you and your family, contact the team at Make A Difference Insurance and we can provide you with the appropriate tools and advice to give you the peace of mind that you and your family deserve.

Sources:

Rethink Sugary Drinks http://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/

University of Oxford: www.ox.ac.uk

 sugary-drinks

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