Sugary drinks are those that have a substantial amount of calories from sugar – naturally, as in fruit juices or smoothies, or added, as in many soft drinks or fizzy drinks. There is no specific level of sugar that divides “sugary” from “non-sugary” drinks, but as a guide, most fizzy drinks and fruit juices have about 10 grams of sugar in every 100 millilitres of the product – so a typical amount of 330 millilitres will provide 33 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about 6 teaspoons and contributes about 130 calories.

Our bodies seem less able to notice calories from drinks than calories from foods, and so our bodies don’t compensate by eating less after ingestion of calories from drinks.

“Diet” drinks use low-calorie sweeteners, and so do not have the same calorie content as sugary drinks, but most of them have high acidity, which contributes to tooth erosion. Water is the best choice, and unsweetened tea and coffee are also good options (aim to limit coffee consumption to no more than four cups a day). Some research suggests that a moderate amount of coffee (no more than four cups a day) may be helpful for some health concerns, however excess caffeine is not a good option.