New research shows ‘healthy’ fruit juices marketed at children can contain as much sugar as a glass of Coca-Cola

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A new study from Action on Sugar has found that many fruit drinks aimed at children contain at least six teaspoons of sugar. Campaigners looked at 203 products and found over one-in-four had the same amount of sugar, or more, than Coke.

Action on Sugar described the current government guidance on five a day as "baffling" and advised that including fruit juice within the recommendations just added to the confusion. Whilst existing government recommendations suggest 150ml of unsweetened fruit juice can make up your five a day, many juices are sold in much larger quantities and confusing labeling can often mean juices branded ‘healthy’ actually contain very high amounts of sugar. Tesco’s Goodness Slurper Apple and Banana Fruit Smoothie for Kids contains a whopping six teaspoons sugar per 100ml – not so good after all.

Professor MacGregor from Action on Sugar commented: “It is a complete scandal that these drinks are marketed to children and parents as if they are ‘healthy’; this has to stop.”

The study highlighted that when fruit is processed into juice the sugars in the cell walls are released as ‘free sugars’ that damage teeth and provide extra unnecessary calories.

“We need to stop Britain’s childhood obesity epidemic spiralling out of control,” Professor MacGregor added.

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