Drinking just two glasses of fruit juice a day could be giving you the sweet tooth that makes you crave high calorie food.
Experts say fruit juice has too much sugar in it and should not be one of our 'five-a-day' health foods.
Researchers claim their study has shown for the first time that overweight and obese people have a 'dulled' sensitivity to the drinks, but enhanced 'subconscious liking' of the sweet taste.
Hans-Peter Kubis, of the university's School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, has called for sugar to be taxed to stop an impending health 'disaster', and for fruit juice to be taken out of the 'five-a-day' health message.
He told the Daily Mail: 'This has serious implications for public health. This research shows how little sweet food stuffs are required to actually change your taste perceptions and how powerful sweet tasting products are.
'We are headed for a multi-level health disaster with rising obesity levels and the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes.
'From our research it's clear to see how this situation may have created a cycle of sweet food and drink consumption. As taste satisfaction levels drop, the more sweet foods are consumed, contributing to these problems.'
Health experts say parents should give their children water instead of so-called ‘healthy’ fruit drinks. According to findings natural fruit juice, fizzy drinks and cordials are all 'too high in sugar and too sweet'.
Dr Kubis said: 'My reaction would be to encourage the Government to consider taxing sugar that is added to food stuffs - and have that tax ring-fenced for the health budget.
'I'd also question the wisdom of including fruit juice in the five-a-day message. Fruit juice is higher in sugars than people realise.'
Health expert Libby Babet recommends adding a slice of fresh lime to your water to spice it up.
“Water or herbal teas may not taste as sweet but will keep you healthy, inside and out. And while the odd sweet drink won’t hurt, if sipping on them is becoming a habit, kick it now before it kicks you all the way to the curb!”
Do you drink sugary fruit juices?
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