Warning on sugar-bomb drinks

ABOUT one-third of sweet drinks served at Chinese restaurants, hotpot restaurants and supermarkets could be sugar bombs, says a joint study by the Consumer Council (消費者委員會) and the Centre for Food Safety (食物安全中心).

The consumer watchdog collected 141 samples covering 11 types of beverages, 101 of which were non-prepackaged beverages from Chinese restaurants, hotpot shops and cha chaan tengs, and 40 prepackaged drinks from supermarkets and other shops.

Of the drinks, 44 had more than 7.5 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, which is considered high.

The World Health Organisation’s (世界衛生組織) guidelines say a healthy person consuming 2,000 calories per day should ingest less than 50g of sugar.

This means that through drinking one litre of such beverages during a hotpot or dinner, a person would have taken in 75g of sugar, or 50 percent more than the WHO safety limit.

On average, kumquat honey, citron honey and hawthorn drinks contained the highest sugar level, reaching 10g per 100ml.

The lowest among the 11 types of drinks were the luohanguo drinks, which contained 1.2g of sugar per 100ml.

A cold hawthorn drink from a restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui reached the highest, 19g per 100ml, followed by a hot citron honey from Tuen Mun (16g) and a sour plum drink from Mong Kok (13.5g).

Samuel Yeung Tze-kiu (楊子橋), principal medical officer for the Centre for Food Safety, said consuming excessive sugar can cause diabetes and other health problems.

“Other than providing us with energy, sugar has no other nutrient value,” he added.

An excessive amount of sugar intake will raise the risk of becoming overweight and obese, and these are related to chronic diseases and cancers, he said.

(This article is published on The Student Standard on 25 November 2015)

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