Why is New York City Warning Parents About Fruit Drinks?

Fruit Drinks enticing kids

New York City’s Health Department, the good folks who are fearlessly practicing public health policy, are at it again. Last year they warned us about soft drinks. This summer they are back, with a campaign warning parents about the dangers of fruit drinks.

Wait a minute, aren’t fruit drinks supposed to be healthy?

You would think that’s the case, but in fact, fruit drinks can have more sugar than soda pop. A fruit drink is usually made of water, sugar, and flavoring, and only a tiny amount of real fruit juice. Here’s the ingredient list of Minute Maid’s Pink Lemonade, a childhood favorite:

CONTAINS PURE FILTERED WATER, SWEETENERS (HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR), LEMON JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, GRAPE JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE (FOR COLOR), LEMON PULP, NATURAL FLAVORS.

The package boldly claims “100% NATURAL flavors”. What a joke, adding 7 teaspoons of sugar and expecting us to fall for it?

Got it, but I give my child 100% fruit juice. That’s OK, right?

The difference between 100% fruit juices and fruit drinks may not be as big as you think. While 100% fruit juice is made only from fruit, in many cases, the majority of the juice is either from apples or grapes. Eaten fresh, these fruits are great, but when squeezed into juice, their sugar content is highly concentrated and the fiber is lost. Kids (and adults) get accustomed to ingesting a large amount of sugar in seconds. This does not have a good effect on the body, spiking blood sugar levels.

So what should my child be drinking?

You already know the answer. Water. As hard as it sounds, investing the time and effort to get your family back to drinking water is the single most effective step you can take towards your family’s health (and weight loss).

Here’s the NYC ad:

Get Fooducated

  • MartinCoady

    The example used in the article supports one of my axioms for interpreting food nutrition labels: high fructose corn syrup is a marker for low quality food. Any manufacturer who would use this sweetener can be expected to choose other ingredients based on their cost, not their nutritive value. As soon as you see those words, put the package down and look for something else.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Exactly what we say in our app!

      great minds…

  • Hrdowning

    Not impressed with the glorifying the NYC public health department for ANYTHING… it’s up to us, not some bureaucratic dept. on what we put into our bodies… if this is what this app is supporting and not just facts about food, then I’m out… I’ll just continue to track it myself like always…

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Individuals don’t stand a chance against the mighty marketing machine of junk food companies. NYC’s public health policy is a small step in the direction of evening out the playing field.

  • http://everythinghappens-blog.blogspot.com/ Alyssa

    Great ad to raise awareness for the amount of sugar in drinks that pose as healthy foods. Way to go NYC for, once again, being ahead of the curve on public health issues.

  • P

    Wow! and what about SWEETENERS (HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP..and of course choices by parents!!!

  • Eric Micheal Stephenson

    A good alternative for weening kids off of sugar/”flavor” overload is putting some actual fruit like orange sections or grapefruit and some stevia in a gallon of water overnight.

    My girlfriend does something similar, like this http://www.whennorthissouth.com/miss-theres-a-leaf-in-that-water/

  • eve

    My 1 year old loves water

  • healthy choices

    My kids have always been given water as their main beverage. Everyone in our house has their own BPA free reusable water bottle. And they stay full wash in between refills of course but they know what to grab when they are thirsty. Juice is something they drink at a birthday party not st home.