Canada's food guide

Sugary drinks and your teen

Teens may not admit it, but they look to their parents to help guide their choices and behaviour. Help your teen replace sugary drinks with water.

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Benefits of decreasing your teen’s intake of sugary drinks

Parental influence can play a major role in decreasing teens’ intake of sugary drinks.

Reducing your teen’s intake of sugary drinks may lead to a decreased risk of:

  • obesity
  • tooth decay
  • type 2 diabetes

Teens are some of the highest consumers of sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are a major source of sugars in the diets of pre-teens and teens. Teens drink most of their sugary drinks at home in the afternoons and evenings.

Soft drinks are the most popular drink among teens. Other sugary drinks include:

  • iced tea
  • fruit juice
  • sports drinks
  • energy drinks
  • hot chocolate
  • chocolate milk
  • speciality coffee and teas
  • flavoured waters with added sugars
  • fruit-flavoured drinks like fruit punch
  • sweetened plant-based beverages

How to help lower your teen’s intake of sugary drinks

Teens are still developing healthy habits. You can help your teen develop healthy habits by:

  • reducing the amount of sugary drinks available at home
  • encouraging them to make healthy drink choices when they are away from home

Take some time to explain to your teen that some drinks have a lot of sugars and should not be consumed every day. Make it easier for them to choose healthy beverages, try to:

  • offer water or carbonated water with meals and snacks
  • brainstorm as a family ways to flavour water with fruits and herbs

Visit the Food guide for life for tips to:

  • Choose a healthy drink
  • Make healthy choices when eating out
  • Be aware of food marketing

Further reading

Date modified: 2019-01-14