Nfld. & Labrador·Video

How sweet: A dietitian looks at pop, energy drinks … and taxes

Debate has been swirling about whether a "sugar tax" might curb consumption of unhealthy drinks. A dietitian reveals some unsettling facts about soda and other popular beverages marketed to young consumers.
Debbie Cooper spoke to dietitian Lisa Dooley about a tax on sugar and how much hidden sugar we actually consume. 4:29

Debate has been swirling about whether a "sugar tax" might curb consumption of unhealthy drinks, with the latest spark coming from a CBC report earlier this week that revealed the provincial government believes it could bring in $10 million a year through such a measure. 

Dietitian Lisa Dooley is in favour of such a move — as long as the money raised is put to good use. 

"I think the idea of a sugar tax can be a great one if the tax money is used to create healthy environments, so people can make healthy choices, and it's the easy choice to make," Dooley said Thursday in an interview. 

That would mean, for instance, that clean water is readily available, and that vegetables would be cheaper and more widely accessible. 

So what are the risks of soft drinks and other beverages? 

Dooley, who works with the lifestyles program at the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre, walked Here & Now's Debbie Cooper through a range of commercial beverages, noting that some "sports drinks," for example, contain the equivalent of 13 cubes of sugar. 

Watch the video above to see for yourself just how sweet many popular beverages are.