If you’re a parent, you’re probably already wary of giving your kids sugary soda — but what about such popular kids’ favorites like Sunny D, Capri Sun, Hi-C, and all those other dubiously labeled “fruit drinks”? Take Part reports that kids' fruit juices can be just as unhealthy as sodas, and sometimes even more unhealthy.
With more added sugar on average than any other beverage, soda is no doubt deserving of its public health enemy No. 1 status. It’s a prime source of the sort of empty calories that have been linked to the epidemic of childhood obesity and related ills. Just in March, news broke that Burger King had become the last of the big three burger chains to drop soda from its kids’ meals.
>> Read more: 5 Foods Unexpectedly High in Sugar
But when it comes to other popular kids’ drinks, a new study finds that parents are often deceived into believing they are healthier than soda — or just healthy in general.
In an online survey of nearly 1,000 parents, researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that while 62 percent of parents said they had given their kids soda at least once in the past month, nearly 80 percent had provided “fruit drinks,” a category that excludes beverages made from 100 percent fruit juice. That’s despite well over half of the respondents saying they were either somewhat or very concerned about the amount of sugar their kids consume.
>> Read more: Harmful Effects Sugar Has on Your Body
How to explain the discrepancy? As one of the study’s authors, Jennifer Harris, put it in a statement: “Although most parents know that soda is not good for children, many still believe that other sugary drinks are healthy. The labeling and marketing for these products imply that they are nutritious, and these misperceptions may explain why so many parents buy them.”
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