How can the ill effects of sugary drinks be minimised?

With the festive season coming, everyone will get indulged in various delicacies in which sweets and sugary drinks will be on the menu. Whether visiting relatives or hanging out with friends, a glass of sugary fizzy drinks is necessary to quench the thirst.


Components in sugary drinks

Sugar-sweetened beverages have various forms of added sugar: brown sugar, corn sweetener, fructose, lactose, sucrose, malt syrup, raw sugar, molasses, etc. We usually ignore going through the ingredient list mentioned on the beverage bottle; however, on keeping a close look, we will come across several ingredients in some form or other. A recent Twitter post by an Indian doctor mentioned that the sugar contents in brands sold in India are high, and one can of Coke has 139 calories in 330 ml.


Affecting children

Very recently, social media had disturbing news on malt-based drinks for children. A social media influencer cried out loud regarding the high sugar content in health drinks that the manufacturer rejected, and it was mentioned that the news was distorted.


Adults and children are also facing health hazards due to the intake of sugary drinks. Consuming extra sugar in the form of aerated and healthy drinks above the recommended level leads to obesity and other health hazards. One has to keep in mind that to avoid diseases like diabetes, liver diseases leading to cancer, heart diseases, etc., we need to maintain control of the intake of sugar and its form.


Way out and initiatives

Going in for fruits, honey, and jaggery, which have natural sugar content, will help substitute sugar, eventually minimizing the intake. A glass full of fruit juice, whole fruits, and skipping a can of aerated sugary drink is more likely to keep diseases at bay in the long run. Consumption of coconut water can be the other substitute for the sugary drinks. Food and drinks can be enhanced with spices/condiments instead of sugar, and ginger, cinnamon, etc., can be added.


Being super busy these days, we have to take time to look at the contents of the sugary drinks we consume. It sounds absurd; however, it will only help us judge whether a specific drink is beneficial for our health or not. Cutting back on sugary beverages will bring in a lot of health benefits.


The government and various stakeholders must come on board to tackle the issue of sugary drinks leading to multiple diseases. Labeling the drinks with particular colours will make the consumers more aware of the ill effects. Apart from the non-availability of drinks outside the school premises, taxing the drinks so that the prices go up will deter many from avoiding the drinks, and community campaigns are some of the measures that can help in the long run.