Bartlett High School Students Learn About Added Sugars in Their Favorite Beverages!

Webster Public Schools is dedicated to providing their high school students with the appropriate nutrition knowledge to help form lifelong healthy habits. Their interest and support in educating students with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their eating and exercise habits has helped to establish a community focused on the overall health and well-being of their students. To further the promotion of their health and wellness policy, Webster Public Schools has partnered with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics to provide nutrition education specifically designed to meet the needs of their students. This fall, graduate student dietitian, Lauren Mansir presented on the amount of added sugar found in commercial beverages with a lesson titled, “Rethink Your Drink!” to senior high school students. Students learned about the risks of too much added sugar in their diet, and how to make healthy choices when choosing a beverage.

Lauren Mansir teaching students about added sugars in beverages and their effects.
FSU Student Dietitian, Lauren Mansir, teaching students about added sugars in sweetened beverages and their current and long-term effects on health.

Students became “sugar sleuths” by investigating the amount of added sugar in common commercial beverages and learned how to read the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label. During the presentation, students actively participated in discussions about how excess sugar in the diet can lead to the development of diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while also learning to consume their favorite sugary beverages in moderation. A blind taste test was performed by having students taste two infused waters with no added sugar (Strawberry Lemonade and Blueberry Orange) compared to the same flavor of a commonly consumed sports drink containing added sugar to show that natural sweetness is just as sweet and sometimes sweeter! By the end of the lesson, students were excited to share their knowledge with friends and family, and try new infused water recipes on their own!

For more information regarding added sugars and for more health promotion resources, please visit The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition’s Resource Center.

Submitted By: Lauren Mansir, Food and Nutrition Student in the FSU Coordinated Program in Dietetics.