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Be aware of 'hidden' sugar intake in hot drinks

July 06, 2017

As published in the 22 June issue of Dentistry magazine, research by the Oral Health Foundation has found that one in seven British adults exceed their daily sugar intake recommendation just by adding sugar to their tea and coffee!

It was reported that one in three British adults (31%) add sugar to their hot drinks: one in six (16%) add one teaspoon of sugar; one in eight (12%) add two teaspoons of sugar; and around one in 30 (3%) add more than three teaspoons of sugar to every cup!

As each teaspoon contains 4g of sugar, this means that people adding two teaspoons of sugar or more could be exceeding the NHS recommendations of sugar intake by this 'hidden' sugar alone. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, commented "It might be easy to overlook tea and coffee habits when considering how much sugar we have, but given the amount of it we drink, there is a danger we are consuming too much sugar far too frequently". He went on to advise cutting out sugar from tea and coffee (if you cannot drink these without, to add a sweetener) or reducing your consumption of these hot drinks to meal times only to limit this 'hidden' sugar consumption.

The NHS recommends that added sugar should not make up more than 5% of total calorie intake, which is around 30g of sugar a day. So, if people added one teaspoon of sugar in four cups of tea or coffee a day, this would make up over half that person's daily recommended sugar intake. Therefore, be aware of the amount of sugar you consume in tea and coffee to ensure you do not overlook this 'hidden' sugar and stay within the recommended guidelines.


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