Sugary Drinks

SSB-water_webimageDrinking too much sugar is a major contributor to overweight and obesity, especially for LA County’s children. Sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even sweetened teas and juice drinks, are a large part of the problem. How much sugar are you drinking? Watch these videos to find out.

Here are ways to help kids avoid sugary drinks:

  • Choose water or low-calorie drinks instead of sugary drinks.22 packs of sugar
  • Keep water stocked in your refrigerator and carry a reusable bottle with you to refill throughout the day when you’re thirsty.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • A 20-ounce soda can contain 65 grams of sugar. That’s approximately 22 packets of sugar in just one bottle.
  • A typical adult has to walk briskly for 46 minutes to burn the calories in a 20-ounce soda.
  • A typical 10-year-old has to bike vigorously for 30 minutes to burn the calories in a 12-ounce soda.
  • Switch out juice drinks and other fruit-flavored drinks for whole fruits to eat.

Sugary Drinks by the Numbers:

  • 46% – Percentage of added Impact of Sugary Drinks Infographicsugar in our diets that comes from soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks.
  • 22 packs – Approximate amount of sugar in the average 20 oz. bottle of soda, which also contains 240 calories.
  • 27% – Increase in likelihood of overweight or obesity for adults who drink one or more sodas or other sugary drinks each day.
  • 60% – Increase in a child’s risk for obesity with every additional daily serving of soda.

How to make water fun for your kids:


  • Citrus Light – Cut up oranges, limes, and cucumbers, place in a pitcher of water for 2 hours, strain and serve.
  • Blueberry Lemonade – Add 1/2 cup of blueberries and juice from 1 squeezed lemon to 1 cup of water. Pour over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.
  • Grape Sparkler – Mash a handful of grapes into a bowl, pour juice into a glass and fill to top with sparkling water.
  • Watermelon Lemonade – Puree 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon with juice from 3 lemons and pour over ice.
  • Fresh Fruit Cooler – Blend 1/2 cup ice, 3/4 cup sparkling water, 1/3 cup melons or berries until slushy. Garnish with mint leaves or citrus slice.
  • Tropical Smoothie – In a blender, puree melon chunks or peach slices with fat-free (skim) milk, crushed ice, and a touch of ginger or cinnamon until smooth.

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Calculate teaspoons of sugar by checking grams of sugar listed under carbohydrates and dividing that number by 4


How much sugar is in a soda?

 How much sugar is in a sports drink?

Is sugar hiding in your drink?

Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Natural sugars are sugars naturally found in fruit and milk. Added sugars are any sugars added to beverages. Some examples of added sugars are listed below.

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose


Featured Videos

Learn more about healthy eating, moving and living in LA County by watching these videos.

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