by Jo Campbell, Media and Public Relations Coordinator

Don't be sucked in by frozen sugary drinks

While a frozen sugary drink can seem like a cheap way to cool down on a scorching day, these drinks are packed with sugar your body really doesn't need.

Cheap promos for slushies are everywhere over summer months but, if having one of those turns into a regular habit, you and your kids are basically slurping your way to weight gain, toxic fat and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and dental decay. 

Consider the motives of slushie promos - are you being sucked in to extra kilojoules, sugar and spending?

Australia loves sugary drinks 

Australians consume 1.43 billion litres of sugary drinks annually and almost 1 in 2 Australian kids consume sugary drinks every day – a leading cause of the current obesity epidemic. 

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for best health but, as you’ll see below, many of the frozen drinks available over summer completely max that out. 

Why are sugary drinks a problem? 

They’re high in energy and added sugar – they provide no other nutritional value other than fluid, meaning they’re basically junk food. It’s also easy to forget that drinks add towards your daily kilojoule intake, which means you can easily drink a lot of kilojoules without knowing it. 

We’ve done some analysis to help you make a more informed decision on what you’re drinking this summer.

Our analysis

We analysed the sugar content of all frozen drinks currently on the market. If you consumed the worst offender for every day of summer you could potentially stack on more than 3 kilos and you’d consume a whopping 7 kilos of sugar, which is not a great way to end your summer hols. 

The worst 4 brands 

Top Offender: 7-Eleven  

Their ‘Mega  Strawberry Slurpee’ contains:

  • 80.5 grams of sugar
  • That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar
  • More than three times the maximum added sugar you should have in a day 

2nd Top Offender:  McDonald’s 

Their ‘Large Frozen Coke Spider’ contains:

  • 59.95 grams of sugar
  • That’s 15 teaspoons of sugar
  • More than double the maximum added sugar you should have in a day 

3rd Top Offender:  KFC 

Their ‘Mountain Dew Energize Freeze’ (one size) contains:

  • 52.8 grams of sugar
  • That’s 13 teaspoons of sugar
  • More than double the maximum added sugar you should have in a day 

4th Top Offender:  Hungry Jack’s 

Their ‘Large Frozen Fanta Mango Spider’ contains:

  • 47.2 grams of sugar
  • That’s 12 teaspoons of sugar
  • Double the maximum added sugar you should have in a day 

What’s the solution?

There’s definitely better ways to quench your thirst without risking your health – choose iced water instead (add some fruit for some sweetness) or teach your kids how to make a healthy slushie at home.

They’re easy to make and getting your family together in the kitchen is a great way to help your kids learn about good nutrition and, it’s fun. 

All you need is some frozen fruit (like pineapple, mixed berries, mangoes or watermelon), a touch of juice and a squeeze of lime. This is a great way to get your two serves of fruit a day and, at under $2 a serve, it’s a no brainer. 

Using frozen fruit makes things even easier as the peel has already been removed and it's been cut up into chunks. For a variation, try adding a small amount of light coconut milk, which will make you and the family feel like you're on a tropical holiday!

Pine-lime and coconut slushie     Berry slushie

More info

For more delicious and colourful drink recipes visit our recipes page here. To find out how much sugar you consume from drinks, try our sugary drinks calculator.