Juice boxes pack a sugary punch, Australian survey finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st May 2012

A wide-ranging survey by Australian consumer advocacy group Choice has found a that quarter of juice box products (also known as ‘juice poppers’) contain 25 per cent or less fruit juice.

Choice compared the percentage of juice, sugar content, serving-size, vitamin C, additives and price of 100 juice box products sold in Australia.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, Choice said parents should think twice before packing juice poppers (also known as juice boxes) in their children’s lunchboxes, due to their high sugar content and large serving sizes.

For example, Choice found that Golden Circle Pineapple and Golden Circle Sunshine Punch juice boxes each contain more than six teaspoons (30.5g) of sugars in a 250mL pack.

Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just said, “Juice boxes definitely offer lunchbox convenience but many are packed with added sugars and deserve the status of a treat. While the 100 per cent juice poppers can give you valuable nutrients such as vitamin C and folate, they don’t have the fibre of fresh fruit.

Choice also reported the serving sizes of many of the juice boxes to be “confusing”, pointing out that seventy five of the 100 poppers tested were 250mLs or larger, despite dietary guidelines defining a serve of juice as 125mL.

Ms Just said, “Many juice boxes offer a double serve which makes it easy for children to end up drinking more juice and more associated kilojoules and sugars, than what is generally recommended.

A study from Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, published in January this year, found that about 80 per cent of Australian children drank sugary drinks, including carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, juices with added sugar, cordial, sports drinks, milkshakes/smoothies and flavoured milk.

The researchers used data drawn from the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.