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The Shocking Amount of Sugar in Soda

Most restaurant soft drinks exceed the daily limit.

Sugar cubes in a plastic cup to represent excessive sugar in soda

Most people know there’s a lot of sugar in soda, but how much may surprise you. Most sodas sold at the 20 top-earning restaurant chains in the U.S.—even those served in a “small” cup size—contain more added sugar than the suggested daily limit of 50 grams. That’s according to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The investigation showed that the “default” drink sizes included in meal combos typically have more than the suggested daily maximum for added sugar. Many fast-food chains provide more than a day-and-a-half’s worth of added sweet stuff in a single regular- or medium-sized cola, and 2 days’ worth in a large.

This is particularly concerning considering that sugar in soda seems to be especially detrimental to health, raising the risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Washing down the burger and fries with water is the way to go.

See also: Another Strike Against Liquid Sugar

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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