Now the news often talks about how soda consumption is going down (-27% according to this report), and while it was slightly heartening to learn that juice consumption has gone down by 10%, neither are going down in a vacuum.
During that same time frame, other liquid candy sources have picked up some major steam
- Energy drinks +638%
- Sweetened coffees +579%
- Flavoured water +527%
- Drinkable yogurt +283%
- Sweetened teas +36%
- Flavoured milk +21%
- Sports drinks +4%
- Children 0 – 8 years consumed 326ml/d
- Youth 9 – 18 years consumed 578ml/d
- Young adults 19 – 30 years consumed 504 ml/d
- Adults 31+ years consumed 259ml/d
Looking to my experiences in our office's Ministry of Health funded program that works with parents of children whose weights are a concern, I can tell you that it's not at all uncommon for kids to be consuming 300 or more calories of chocolate milk and juice a day. In most of these cases, the kids were doing so consequent to their parents great intentions - intentions that have been poisoned by a national Food Guide that includes chocolate milk as a healthy dairy choice, and juice as a fruit and vegetable equivalent this despite chocolate milk being to milk what apple pies are to apples, and juice being just a flat soda pop alternative with a smattering of vitamins.
Liquid calories, especially sugary ones, are perhaps healthier diets' lowest hanging fruits. That Canada is still dithering on them, especially those that are marketed to kids as being healthy by way of the Food Guide and school milk programs, is quite unfortunate.