Fast-food chain McDonald's has announced it plans to launch a healthy fizzy fruit drink for children, Fruitizz. Diet experts have slated the drinks healthy image though as they reveal it contains 49g of sugar per glass, equating to 12 spoonsful of sugar.
In an effort to improve its unhealthy image McDonald's announced "We are thrilled to be unveiling Fruitizz, a refreshing fizzy fruit juice drink that will help parents give children one of their five-a-day."
What they forgot to add was that Fruitizz contains 200 calories and 49g of sugar, just a tad under the sugary soft drink brands Fruitizz is attempting to replace with its health claims.
According to the Daily Mail health experts recommend children consume no more than 50g of sugar per day, so just one glass of Fruitizz takes them up to the limit. Dietitian Christina Merryfield is quoted as saying "A large cup of this drink has more sugar than a can of Fanta. Sugary drinks can encourage tooth decay and erosion and lead to weight gain. Water is a much better option and milk is great because it is full of calcium and other vitamins and minerals."
The drink was also criticised by Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum who told Sky News "This drink has far too many calories and is too high in its sugar content, particularly given that it is aimed at children. It is unacceptable. This level of sugar is injurious to children’s teeth. It wears away the enamel of children leading to tooth extractions, which is horrendous."
McDonald's defended the new fizzy drink, stating it contains no added sugars, artificial colours or flavours, and that the sugar content is derived from natural sweeteners in fruit. According to Omninfo the drink contains a mix of 60 percent fruit juice combined with natural sparkling water. The fruit juice is a mixture of raspberry, grape and apple juice. The chain is marketing the drink as a healthier alternative to Coca-Cola although it contains just 7.5g less sugar.