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How Much Sugar Is Really In Soda?

pepsiAsk a pediatrician why childhood obesity is a problem, and they point one finger directly toward soda. It’s just one cause of many, but soft drinks are public enemy number one as far as legislators are concerned.

The CDC has been debating the efficacy of obesity taxes on them for quite some time. So how much sugar is really IN those soft drinks?

According to a brand-by-brand breakdown at the Boston Globe, the oft-quoted figure of 10.2 teaspoons of sugar for every 12 ounces of soda is actually a little high.

From the Globe’s counts of 12 ounce cans (and our own conversion of the numbers using this tool):

  • Pepsi has 9.8 teaspoons (49 grams)
  • Coca-Cola has 9.3 teaspoons (46.5 grams)
  • 7-Up has 7.8 teaspoons (39 grams)
  • Dr. Pepper has 9.5 teaspoons (47.5 grams)
  • Mountain Dew has 11 teaspoons (55 grams)

Suddenly the Halloween candy doesn’t look like such a problem, does it? Soda is largely banned from my daughter’s diet – she drinks watered-down juice, milk and plain old water – with the occasional sip of something caffeine free.

Some parents say they prefer to give their kids diet soda to cut out the sugar – but the studies show that’s just as dangerous in terms of childhood obesity. A study in 2005 found a 41 percent increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day. It was a study that showed more correlation than causation – people switching to diet soda were often already on track to an unhealthy weight – but coupled with warnings of nutritional deficiencies caused when kids fill up on diet soda instead of something of nutritional value, parents would be wise to steer clear entirely.

Do your kids drink soda?

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