What is the most sugary soda

Foodwatch market study 2018 - These soft drinks are the worst sugar bombs

It goes down like liquid cotton candy: anyone who drinks a can of “Monster Energy Assault” swallows an impressive 27.5 lumps of sugar at the same time. The energy drink from market leader Coca-Cola contains 83 grams of sugar. According to a new study by the consumer initiative Foodwatch, this makes it the most sugary drink that the German market currently has to offer.

Foodwatch checked the sugar content of 600 beverages in Germany. The consumer advocates were not satisfied with the fewest of them - especially the Germans' favorite lemonades and energy drinks performed poorly.

The consumer advocates tested a total of 600 “soft drinks” for their 2018 market study. The background to this was the announcement by many manufacturers and retailers that they wanted to significantly reduce the sugar content of their products. According to Foodwatch, this has not yet been noticeable. More than every second product is still far too sugary. 345 of the 600 drinks tested (58 percent) contain over five grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. A good two thirds even contain more than 8 percent sugar - that's 6.5 sugar cubes per glass. In addition, sweeteners are added to every third drink, which are also suspected of being harmful to health. With these results, the proportion of sugared drinks on the German market has practically not changed since an initial study two years ago, the organization sums up.

Doctors warn of the consequences for children

She has brought medical professionals on board for support: "Sugar not only provides 'empty calories' without minerals and micronutrients, but also contributes directly to the development of fatty liver and insulin resistance," said Prof. Andreas Pfeiffer, Director of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutritional Medicine the Charité Berlin, at the presentation of the study on Friday in Berlin. Above all, he warned of the consequences for children and young people, the main target group of sweet lemonades. "Relative to their body weight, children consume even more sugar with lemonade than adults," warned Pfeiffer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies sugary drinks as one of the main causes of (obesity) and type 2 diabetes. In Germany, every fourth adult is considered obese, and almost 15 percent of children are overweight. The WHO recommends ideally not consuming more than 25 grams of sugar per day.

Only 13 drinks do not contain any sweet additives

The 2018 market study checked "all discoverable products" from the range of the three largest retail chains Edeka, Rewe and Lidl for sugar content and sweeteners, including lemonades, cola drinks, energy drinks, spritzers, iced teas, fruit juice drinks and flavored lifestyle drinks.

PepsiCo is probably responsible for extra pounds on the ribs - their rock star energy drinks and Mountain Dew lemonades are bursting with sugar. The drinks with more than 10 percent sugar also include “Spicy Ginger” (Thomas Henry), “Happy Day Mango” (Rauch), Original Bitter Lemon (Schweppes) and Coca-Cola Vanilla. Only 13 of the products tested contain no added sugar or sweeteners at all, including Apollinaris Lemon from Coca Cola, the Pfanner Pure Tea products and flavored water from Danone and Vöslauer.

Sugar tax as requested in Great Britain

With the results, Foodwatch wants to increase the pressure on the federal government to introduce a sugar tax like the one that has recently been introduced in Great Britain. Since April 2018, manufacturers have had to pay a fee there for beverages that contain more than 5 grams of sugar per 0.1 liter; a higher fee is due for 8 grams. This apparently works: Fanta has only contained 4.6 grams per 0.1 liter in Great Britain since then. In Germany it is twice as much.

In Germany, the federal government is currently working on a “National Strategy for the Reduction of Sugar, Fats and Salt in Ready-Made Products”. However, this should be implemented with manufacturers and retailers on a voluntary basis.

By Sonja Fröhlich and Christoph Höland