A sugar drink or high-sugar drink is a sweetened beverage consisting almost entirely of water and sugar. Unlike "sweetened beverages" such as coffee or tea that may use smaller amounts of sugar, sugar drinks' main component is sugar, and its main appeal is not taste, but sweetness.
Sugar drinks form the bulk of beverages consumed in the Western pattern diet, and covers many common beverages, ranging from soft drinks to fruit juices to energy drinks.
The water component may be in plain filtered form, or else carbonated. The sugar component comes in various forms such as high-fructose corn syrup.
The consumption of sugar drinks is widely regarded by nutritionists to be a serious cause of adverse health in people ranging from young children up to late adulthood. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but unlike with the consumption of vegetables, its effects are not nutritionally balanced if consumed in excessive quantities.
Sugar in large quantities raises cortisol levels and diminishes ketosis, leading to increased blood insulin levels and diminished fat burning. The most noted effect of high sugar consumption is obesity, and in certain individuals hypoglycemia and diabetes have been attributed to such dietary habits.
Britain's leading oral health charity has called for a UK-wide ban on sales of fizzy drinks and sugary snacks on healthcare and education premises.
The British Dental Health Foundation applauds NHS Tayside's announcement this week that it will stop stocking unhealthy drinks in vending machines and canteens, and calls for similar schemes to be rolled out across Britain.
Fizzy drinks have been replaced by healthier options such as unsweetened fruit juices and bottled water in pilot schemes in the Scottish health authority's premises, and will be banned by March next year.
The move could set a benchmark for health and education organisations' snack and meal menus - the Foundation adding sugary snacks to the list of undesirables.
Such changes make statement on behalf of health authorities, and will boost oral health and overall health.
Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter BDS LDS (RCS), said: "The Foundation not only backs the NHS Tayside decision, but calls for a UK-wide ban on sugary drinks and snacks in hospitals, surgeries, health centres and schools.
"Sugary products taken between meals are the main cause of tooth decay, which can lead to fillings and extractions. Your teeth are under acid attack and risk of decay for up to an hour each time you eat sugary products.