Drinks `bad for children'

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The Independent Online
Children who drink too much fruit squash and high-energy drinks suffer poor appetite, diarrhoea, irritability and poor weight gain, according to research published today.

Doctors at Southampton University discovered "squash drinking syndrome", after studying children who got more than 30 per cent of their daily recommended energy intake from fluids other than milk.

An average glass of blackcurrant juice contains roughly six to nine teaspoons of sugar and a cut in these drinks in favour of milk and water would give a big boost to the child's health.

Another survey carried out in the Southampton area of 100 pre-school and infant schoolchildren, found more than 70 per cent of the pre-school and 50 per cent of the infant school group never drank plain water, the report in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood says.

However, the survey also found that 88 per cent of the mothers questioned were happy with their children's drinking habits.

Soft drink consumption in the UK increased from 4,460 million litres in 1981 to 6,515 million litres in 1991 and most of this was by children.