Friday, May 05, 2006

Soft Drinks and Calories - A sweet and deadly mix

I wonder if folks are aware of the sugar content of popular soft drinks available in the Indian market:
(All figures are total sugar content for a 500 ml "pet" bottle)
Mirinda: 65 grams
Thums Up: 49.5 grams
Sprite: 59 grams

A cup of tea had 2 teaspoons of sugar. Thus a bottle of soft drink has sugar equivalent to 5-7 cups of tea! In my household (2 kids and 2 adults), 500 grams of sugar lasts around 2 weeks!

Sample these stats (assuming one teaspoon is 5 grams and 20 calories, and average calorie intake needed for an adult is 2500 calories/day):
- A person drinking 2 pet bottles of Mirinda a week (not uncommon) ends up consuming 130 grams of sugar and thus 520 calories, which is nearly one fourth of a day's calorie intake for most people.
- If you even drink a couple of Thums Up pets in a week, you are "richer" by nearly 100 grams of sugar and 400 calories.

Remember 8000 calories = 1 Kg of weight. So if you drink an average of two "PETs" a week of Mirinda, you are looking at a weight gain of 1kg in 4 months time.

I am not sure of the sugar content in the European and American markets. One thing is for sure: if you are weight conscious and like to have soft drinks, try Thums Up - it has just 76% of the sugar that Mirinda/Fanta has.

Update: Corrections in calorie calculations thanks to Neil's comments.

3 comments:

Satnam Singh said...

Nitin,

You are right. Soft drinks contains ton of calories ! That's why USA kids are obese. Infact few days back all soft drink companies decided to stop selling soda in schools. They will be selling more water and juice. Sawinder and I donot drink any soda. Best drink is water :)

Neil said...

Where as I do agree with you that soft drinks are extremely bad for your health and that they should be consumed in small quantities, I don't understand how 130 grams of sugar translates into 2600 calories or how 100 grams translates into 2000 calories.

1 Gram of sugar constitues 4 calories. Therefore, Two 500ml pet bottles of Thumbs up a week is 400 calories. While still a lot of calories for just a drink, certainly NOT a days worth of calories!

Anonymous said...

^^ you nailed it...main culprit in obesity is lack of activity...
also calorie calculations here are pretty dumb...