# Activity 2: How much sugar?

Page last updated: 17 September 2014

## Activity 2: How much sugar?

Age appropriateness: 12-17 years

### Learning outcomes

Participants
• Are able to identify the amount of sugar in some common drinks; and
• Are able to identify drinks that are lower in sugar and higher in nutrients and make judgements about the degree to which a variety of drinks are appropriate diet choices.

### Required items

• Empty soft drink, juice, milk, flavoured milk and fruit flavoured drink (etc) containers.
• Sugar cubes (or sugar and teaspoon).
• Clear plastic cups.
• Whiteboard or similar.
• Teacher resource – Average Amount of Sugar in Drinks table (final page).
• Teacher resource – Fact sheets & brochures included in the Resource Package.
• Note: Participants can be asked in week/s prior to this education activity, to collect empty drink containers and bring them into class. This may also help them self-identify how many high sugar drinks they/their family consume.

### Instructions

• Discuss with the group what their perceptions of healthy and unhealthy drinks are.
• Discuss which drinks have lots of sugars and which they think have the least.
• Explain that there are 4.2 grams of sugar in 1 teaspoon and that to calculate how many teaspoons of sugar are in each drink they can:
Divide the sugar in grams by 4.2 - eg. A soft drink that has 64g of sugar = 15.2 teaspoons of sugar (teacher can write this formula up on the board).
• Show a drink container to participants. Ask them to guess the number of teaspoons of sugar in the drink (this could be written up on a board under the heading ‘guessed amount’).
• Place the drink container on the table and ask for a participant to read the label and either state or write up on the board – how much total sugar is in the drink and what the amount of sugar is per 100ml.
• Ask the participant to then use the calculation as described above in point 3 - to determine how many teaspoons this would be. Write this up on the board.
• Ask for a participant to come and place the correct number of teaspoons of sugar (or sugar cubes) into a clear plastic cup beside the drink container until the correct number is reached.
• Repeat steps 5 -7 for all drinks.

### Discussion

• Remember to read the label including:
• Servings per pack/container; and
• Average quantity of sugar per serve.
• Discuss how they can choose healthier drinks. For example:
• Take a water bottle with them;
• Freeze water on hot days so that it stays cool for longer;
• Choose milk instead of soft drinks;
• Eat a piece of fruit rather than drink additional juice.

### Key messages

• When consumed in large amounts, sugar can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay and being overweight can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
• Intake of added sugar in our diets should be minimised.
• Water is the best choice for hydration and health.

### How much sugar is in my drink?

The table below shows how many teaspoons there are in each type of drink and if they are natural sugars or added sugars.
• Drink type; Type of sugar; Average qty of sugar (g); Average qty of sugar (teaspoons).
Drink TypeType of SugarAverage Qty of Sugar (grams)Average Qty of Sugar (teaspoons)
Water - "choose as your main drink throughout the day"-00
Milk (low fat) 250ml (1 cup)natural sugar14g3 tsp
100% fruit juice 250mlnatural sugar24g6 tsp
Flavoured milk 300mladded sugar - but has some healthy nutrients28g7 tsp
Flavoured fruit drink 250mlhigh added sugar27g7 tsp