Health & Fitness

Hidden sugars not a sweet surprise

Mehmet Oz, M.D., and Michael Roizen, M.D.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., and Michael Roizen, M.D.

Lord Sugar (no kidding) is the star of the BBC One’s version of “The Apprentice.” (Think he’ll end up as prime minister?) Sugar Shane Mosley is a three-weight world boxing champ. And WBA guard Ta’Shauna Sugar Rodgers is an up-and-coming star. They’re all upfront about their ability to turn from sweet to ferocious when they’re looking to beat their competition.

But that’s not the style of hidden sugars packed into fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies marketed to kids. According to a new study out of the U.K., nearly half of such beverages studied contained the maximum daily sugar intake for any child. This puts kids at risk for obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and the health hazards they trigger.

On this side of the pond? They’re just as loaded: A 12-ounce Kids Strawberry Blitz from a national smoothie chain delivers 32 grams of sugar! An 8 ounce tropical juice drink found in grocery stores hits 24 grams! And fruity drinks aren’t the only ones to beware: Sweetened ice teas and coffees appeal to teens. On average, American adolescents consume almost 35 teaspoons of added sugars daily! Keep feeding them that, and they’ll die earlier than their great-grandparents did.

You gotta read nutrition and ingredient labels, Mom and Dad — and keep beverages with added sugars out of kids’ hands (and yours). Helping your kids cultivate a taste for the natural sweetness of fresh fruit, veggies and whole grains is a great way to help make sure they live a long, healthy and happy life!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit