Hero photograph
Soda Free September

Students on Sugar

Pete Beswick —

The Year 13 Food Studies Class conducted a survey to look at the eating habits of students at Shirley BHS.

Please see the survey graphs pictured below.

The World Health Organisation recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, but the average New Zealander has around 37 teaspoons.

The aim of this survey was to see the knowledge that the students have about the ‘healthy’ amount of sugar to consume each day,  and whether common food items – such as low-fat yogurt, carrots, breakfast cereal etc. were healthy or not. 

Although many students didn’t know how many teaspoons of sugar they should be consuming per day, over 50% of students did know that it was zero to six teaspoons. 

We also asked what foods were a healthy option.  Some of the options given were  Weetbix, Nutri-Grain, carrots, Coco Pops, tomato sauce, etc. Many people said that Nutri-Grain was a healthy option and more than one in ten said Up and Go  liquid breakfast was healthy. Even though they may seem that they are healthy, these products contain a lot of sugar which is harmful to your health.

While the students who participated in this survey understood how much sugar should be consumed, most still didn't realise that a lot of seemingly healthy food has a surprising amount of hidden sugar.  This is important for the upcoming #sodafreeSept. 

The way people consume sugar the most is from drinking soda. 

To try and cut down on sugar consumption challenge yourself by cutting out soda and other sugary drinks for the whole month of September.

For more information check out Sweet Enough? on Facebook and search with #sodafreeSept as well. In the next newsletter we will be looking at low sugar alternatives to common high sugar food.

All the food that you buy at a supermarket should have a label on it with the Nutrional information on it like the one pictured below. To see what percentage sugar it is look at the section labelled "Average Quantity per 100g" (circled in red) and look at the Box labelled " -Sugars." (orange.) It will say a number in grams, this is the percentage by mass of sugar the food is. 

The World Health Organisation recommends food with less than 10g per 100g, with even more health benefits at less than 5g per 100g.  This food is 2.1 ger per 100g (purple) and so has a healthy amount of sugar.