by Kirsty Morrison
TEENAGERS are drinking the equivalent of almost a bath full of sugary drinks every year.
According to figures published by Cancer Research UK, 11-18-year-olds are drinking 234 cans of soft drinks a year.
The figures also show that this age group eat and drink three times the recommended limit, with sugary drinks being their main source of added sugar.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran are concerned with the fact that the figures are “not from a local perspective”.
Louise Nicol, Communications Officer at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said: “These figures are from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey and don’t give us a local perspective.
The current recommendation for maximum sugar intake is to be no more than five or six teaspoons a day. So these figures are a lot higher than what is recommended.”
Cancer Research UK welcomes the UK Government’s proposal for a sugar tax on soft drinks with added sugar, announced earlier this year.
However they do not think the measure goes far enough.
Professor Linda Bauld, the charity’s cancer prevention expert, based at the University of Stirling, said: “Scotland is already sucking up the high cost of obesity and, unless action is taken, society and our health services will drown under the heavy weight of this UK epidemic.
“We know that Scots have a bigger thirst for fizzy drinks with households spending over a quarter more than other UK nations on soft drinks.”
Restricting unhealthy food and drinks advertising and taking action towards reducing supermarket multi-buy discounts are included in the range of initiatives from Cancer Research UK.
They want these initiatives to be included in Scottish Government plans to improve Scots’ diets.
Cancer Research UK gathered the data using figures from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2015.