Figures reveal children drink bathtub of sugary drinks a year

Teenagers have been found to drink a bathtub of sugary drinks. Picture; PA
Teenagers have been found to drink a bathtub of sugary drinks. Picture; PA
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YOUNGSTERs aged between 11 and 18 drink almost a bathtub full of sugary drinks on average a year, new research has revealed.

The figures also show even younger children, those aged between four and ten, drink the equivalent of almost half a bathtub each year.

The data, calculated from National Diet and Nutrition Survey data, also revealed adults and young children in Scotland consume twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar. And 11-18-year-olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit, with sugary drinks being their main source of added sugar.

Obese children are around five times more likely to grow into obese adults, and carrying too much weight increases the risk of cancer as well as other diseases, it found.

A Cancer Research UK report has previously shown a 20p sugar tax could prevent 3.7 million cases of obesity in the next decade. As part of its Scale Down Cancer campaign, the charity is calling on the Scottish Government do much more to tackle Scotland’s wider obesity challenges.

And while the sugary drinks levy recently announced by the UK Government is welcome, Cancer Research UK says the measure doesn’t go far enough.Restricting advertising of unhealthy food and drinks and action towards fewer supermarket multi-buy discounts are among a range of measures the charity wants to see placed at the heart of the upcoming Scottish Government strategy to improve Scots’ diets.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s cancer prevention expert said: “These figures are shocking. Scotland is already sucking up the high cost of obesity and unless action is taken then society and our health services will drown under the heavy weight of this epidemic.

“We know Scots have a bigger thirst for fizzy drinks with households spending over a quarter more than other UK nations on soft drinks. And the nation has one of the heaviest populations in Europe, with two in three adults in Scotland overweight or obese.

“The Scottish Government must do much more to give the next generation a better chance by protecting children from being bombarded by junk food marketing on TV, as well as the barrage of supermarket multi-buy offers on sugar-laden food and drinks.”

The Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament is due to meet next month to hear evidence on how expert groups think MSPs should tackle obesity.

Meanwhile, figures show sales of Inr Bru in Westminster increased 60 per cent in the last year when the SNP upped its number of seats from six to 56.