One Lump or Two?: Dismantling the Stereotypes of Sugar

One Lump or Two?: Dismantling the Stereotypes of Sugar

How often do you look at the ingredients label on your food? If we’re speaking honestly, far too many of us make assumptions about what we put in our shopping trolleys based on nothing more than food advertising and a brand’s reputation. This can lead us to categorise foods as either ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy,’ with no more thought to it than that. In the lead up to the Sugar Summit event, we’ve become increasingly curious about the amount of sugar in stereotypically ‘healthy’ foods and how this method of ‘loose labelling’ influences people’s impressions of food. We’ve picked a out a few everyday foods that are often considered to be all-rounded healthy options, but are actually a lot sneakier’ than you’d think.

‘Healthy Drinks’

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a good old healthy swig of flavoured water to keep you guilt-free about your sugar intake. Vita Coco boldly promote the ‘natural hydration’ that can be gained from a bottle of their ‘Natural Coconut Water’. However, with roughly 4 cubes of sugar (16.5g) in a 330ml carton, these health stats are what you need to look out for if you’re watching your sugar intake. It’s safe to say this drink is packing a lot more sugary heat than you thought.

Looking more closely at the sugar content of flavoured water revealed another interesting nugget of information. Whilst Vitamin Water may promote its high vitamin benefits, a bottle contains approximately 12g of sugar. This obviously begs the question: if you’re watching your diet or trying to get some extra vitamins into you, are these drinks really the best sugar-free option?

Dairy Products (Namely Milk and Yoghurt)

Milk and low-fat yoghurt, high in calcium and good for your bones. Great stuff, right? Think again… As your next-door neighbours are busy fuelling their children with these calcium-rich foods to strengthen their bones, little do they know about the high sugar content of these dairy foods! A 100g pot of store-bought Light Yoghurt contains 99 calories and is brimming with calcium, but you may get caught out by the 7.1g of sugar lurking within.


Cereals like Alpen are bursting with fibre and low in saturates, making Alpen the perfect brekkie pick, right? Nope. Containing 10.4g of sugar per 45g serving, Alpen is actually loaded with the sweet stuff. There may be plenty of additional health benefits that make Alpen a perfect early-morning option, but things aren’t necessarily as they seem.

So, the next time you start a health kick or go for your weekly shop, look past the fancy advertising and loose stereotypes we put on ‘healthy foods’. Turn that packaging around, give the label a good once-over and you might be surprised what you find. It’s for exactly this reason that Creative Spark is teaming up with Agent to present: the Sugar Summit. Concerned with all things sweet and sugary, this event will offer up advice, insight and inspiration for future brand concepts. It will be held in Manchester on September 16th, and you can follow the link below to find out more information: