By this point we’ve all gotten the memo, soda is just packed with sugar and not a great beverage choice for our kids. But what about other drinks like flavored water, sports drinks and fruit drinks? Are these healthy beverages or do they rank up there with unhealthy options like soft drinks?
USA Today reports about a new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at University of Connecticut that finds many parents believe these other types of drinks like flavored water and sports drinks are healthy but unfortunately they’re loaded with sugar and just as unhealthy for kids as soda.
The reason parents have been led to believe these other drinks are healthy for their kids probably has something to do with product labeling that misleads them into thinking the product is natural or leads to health benefits. Author of the study Jennifer Harris explains, “Although many parents know that soda is not good for children, many still believe that sugary drinks are healthy options. The labeling and marketing for these products imply that they are nutritious, and these misperceptions may explain why so many parents buy them.”
Parents who would think twice about giving soda to their kids seem to have no problem handing out other sugary bevs. The study finds that 96% of parents reported giving sugary drinks like fruit drinks to their kids a month before the survey was taken. About half of parents felt that flavored water was a healthy drink option and more than 25% consider fruit and sports drinks to be healthy.
Though the study claims the drink labels may be to blame for misleading parents, the officials at the American Beverage Association do not agree. Christopher Gindlesperger, senior director of public affairs, explains how he believes the Beverage Association has been honest and is not to blame here. He writes in a statement, “This is just the latest report coming out of an institution with a long history of bashing beverages, and it undermines parents' ability to make decisions themselves. We provide clear, factual information on our all of our packaging — and even go beyond government requirements — to make sure parents have the information they need to make the choices that are right for them and their families. There's nothing wrong with having a sports drink or a soda or a juice drink — it's about moderation and balance. And parents get that.”
What do you think of the new study that suggests parents may be misled by labels to believe sugary drinks are healthy for their kids?
Do you think other types of sugary beverages are okay for kids as long as they are in moderation?