Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Facts

  • A staggering 38.7 million litres of soft drinks are sold in Nigeria each year (1). 
  • Sugar intake from soft drinks is linked to weight gain, including childhood obesity (3)
  • Soft drinks have no nutritional value, but are loaded with calories. If the extra calories from soft drinks are not offset by eating a little less at mealtimes, it will result in extra caloric consumption, which can lead to weight gain. (2,4)
  • Obesity is a risk factor for many non-communicable diseases, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer (3). 
  • People who consume one soft drink a day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who rarely drink them (2). 
  • The added sugar in soft drinks is a major source of added sugar in the diet (2).
  • The “free” sugars found in soft drinks, particularly in liquid form, pose particular risk to the body because they are more quickly absorbed by the liver and can negatively affect the blood chemistry and cholesterol, resulting in high blood pressure, inflammation and liver disease (4).
  • Many soft drinks contain acids that erode the enamel of teeth and lead to dental caries and tooth decay when consumed (5).
  • The affordability of soft drinks (6) and the lack of policy measures to deter their consumption make them an easy choice, particularly among the urban poor.

Learn more about what sugar does to your body

Factsheet references.

  1. https://brandspurng.com/2017/03/30/nigeria-ranks-4th-in-soft-drinks-consumption-globally/ German Engineering Foundation
  2. Vasanti S. Malik et al Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes: A meta-analysis https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/11/2477
  3.  Hu, FB. Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Obesity Reviews 2013 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23763695/ 
  4. Malik, V. S., & Hu, F. B. (2015). Fructose and Cardiometabolic Health: What the Evidence From Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tells Us. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 66(14), 1615–1624. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2015.08.025 
  5. Walsh LJ. Black Cola drinks, oral health and general health: an evidence-based approach. ADA News Bulletin, 2008 https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:174037 
  6. Blecher, E., Liber, A. C., Drope, J. M., Nguyen, B., & Stoklosa, M. (2017). Global Trends in the Affordability of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, 1990-2016. Preventing chronic disease, 14, E37. https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd14.160406

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