Class 4 Science Investigation - Sugar in Drinks

This half term our topic in Science is Body Health. During the course of the topic, we will be exploring how to keep our bodies healthy.

Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the role of sugar in our diet and the consequences of consuming foods and drinks with too much sugar. We have done this by looking at the new sugar tax and discussing the big question below:

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As a class, we researched the new sugar tax, which was introduced in April 2018, and found out that:

  • The government introduced new rules for the makers of soft drinks, who now have had to pay more tax, depending on the amount of sugar that goes into their products.
  • The new rules say that each litre of sugary drink would have an extra tax charge of between 18 and 24 pence, depending on how much sugar is in the drink.
  • It's all to try to put people off buying drinks with lots of sugar in them, like fizzy pop.
  • The move is hoped to help cut childhood obesity, tooth decay and illnesses like diabetes.

Some children explored public opinion about the tax and found that answers were very mixed. There are those, like the baker Nadiya Hussain form the Great British Bake Off, who think that the tax will not necessarily help to cut childhood obesity. 

Celebrity baker Nadiya Hussain

She told BBC News: "If [people] want a sugary drink, they're still going to buy it, which means they'll have less money, so I don't know who that's helping...You cook and you eat fresh, healthy food, you exercise more. I can only speak for my own family, and we eat cake. And we eat cheese, we eat chocolate. But we also all go cycling and exercise and that's my responsibility as a mother to teach my children to make the right choices."

Others believe that the tax will deter people from buying sugary drinks, thus helping to improve their diets. 

In order to explore the issue in more detail, yesterday we led an investigation into which drinks have the most amount of sugar in them. The children were provided with five drinks. They had to make a prediction and explain their thinking.

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They then had to use the labels of the drinks to identify the amount of sugar per 100ml of each drink.

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Afterwards, the applied their Maths skills using scaling to identify how many grams of sugar each drink would have per 500ml of drink.

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Afterwards, they measure the amounts of sugar in each drink and placed them in food bags so that they could visually see the amount of sugar in the drinks.

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Finally, they had to evaluate whether their prediction was correct and explain the data that they had collected. Many of the children were shocked to find that fresh orange juice contained more sugar than Lucozade. This led to a further discussion about the purpose of sugar in our diets and the difference between natural sugars and artifical sugars. 

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"I didn't expect that much sugar in the drinks that we tested." - Codie

"I was really suprised that there was the same amount of sugar in orange juice and Coke." - Christi

"I think the sugar tax is a great idea to stop childhood obesity and is already proving to be a success. Schools now get provided with more money to promote sports through the Sports Premium." - Gracie