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Sugary drinks on the rise in the developing world

While positive changes are taking place in high income countries of the world, like England and the USA, regarding the reduction in consumption of sugary beverages; for the developing world, things are on the increase.

According to a study titled ‘Sweetening of the global diet, particularly beverages: Patterns, trends and policy responses’ – without intervention, citizens in low and middle income countries are likely to be bombarded with sugar in their drinks and packaged food.

Dr Barry Popkin, who is a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, is one of the authors of the study. He’s quoted in a recent article about the rise in calorie consumption from packaged foods and beverages in countries like China.

“And that’s just one country that started late…all of Asia is moving this way, and there’s not a single village in Africa where you can’t find a convenience store”

Here are some points from the article:

  • 33% of calories in China came from packaged foods and beverages in 2011 and Popkins predicts this will increase to over 50% 
  • Popkin says the rise in bottled water consumption in America has resulted in fewer people buying sugary drinks.
  • He says more work needs to be done to address sugar in the packaged food industry.
  • In the USA there has been a reduction in the number of calories consumed through soft drinks from 110 per day in 2009 to 95 calories per day in 2014.
  • Popkin says fruit juices are of major concern, with his study finding that 74% of US beverages and foods included both caloric and low-caloric sweeteners in order to avoid listing sugar as an ingredient.

Follow the link to read the full article.

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