Sugar shock game

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Sugar Shock Game

This game can be played with a large variety of age groups: adults, teens and children.


1. Split the participants into 2 teams. Have the teams come up with their own team names, preferably nutrition or sugar related. Ie) sugar mamas; sweet things, etc.

2. Write each team name on a flip chart paper. This will be used as the score board.

3. Each team selects a ‘bidder’ who acts with the guidance of his or her team.

4. The facilitator holds up an empty beverage container and asks how many sugar cubes are in the serving size of that beverage.

5. The bidder places sugar cubes in a clear glass to represent his or her team’s guess for the sugar content of the beverage.

6. The facilitator reveals the answer, and the team that is the closest to the correct amount gets the points for this round. The team will get the points of the actual amount of sugar in the beverage. If the team guesses exactly right, the team gets double the points.

7. The winning team could get prizes, if available.

|Beverage |Size |# of teaspoons of sugar |

|Milk |2 cups |6 |

|Chocolate milk |1 cup |7 |

|Pepsi/coke |1 can |9 |

|V8 |354 ml |3 |

|Sunny D |500ml bottle |14 |

|Apple juice, unsweetened |341 ml |9 |

|Powerade |710 ml |9 |

|Water |591 ml |0 trick question |

|Pepsi/coke |2 L |60 |

This game takes 20-25 minutes.

Equipment Checklist::

□ Sugar cubes

□ Plastic cups

□ Empty beverages containers

□ Flip chart paper and markers

□ Prizes (optional)

How to figure out how many sugar cubes (or teaspoons) in different beverages:

1. Look at the food label.

2. Take the grams of sugar and divide them by 4

3. That will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar in 1 serving

Example: If a label says it has 40 grams of sugar

40/4 = 10 teaspoons or sugar cubes in that beverage!

Speaking notes:

After a beverage is displayed, here are some points you can say about the different beverages.

White Milk –

• Has natural sugar called lactose.

• Some Aboriginal people are lactose intolerant and therefore cannot digest too much lactose (they may get diarrhea, sore stomach)

• If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk, or put lactase drops in your milk to reduce the lactose content

• Yogurt and cheese have less lactose in them and are often better tolerated

• Milk is a very healthy choice. It provides more than 15 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D and protein

Chocolate Milk –

• Has natural and added sugar

• It’s a very healthy choice and has all the same nutrients as white milk, but more sugar than white milk

• Especially good for those who may not otherwise drink white milk

Unsweetened juice –

• Has no added sugar, but natural sugar, which will still increase blood glucose levels, provides calories and can lead to weight gain if too much is consumed.

• Less fibre than the whole fruit

• A food guide serving is ½ cup

• When possible, choose a whole fruit and water instead of juice

• Juice has the same nutrients as fruit, except less fiber and more concentrated and therefore more sugar.

Vegetable juice -

• A lot less natural sugar compared to fruit juice

• Will not increase blood glucose levels as much as fruit juice will

• Has more sodium/salt (added)

• If you make your own vegetable juice, limit how much salt you add to it

• Can be a very healthy choice in moderation

• Has many nutrients, but less fiber than the whole vegetables

Sweetened juices –

• Depending on the juice it may or may not have natural juice

• Has added sugar

• Not as healthy as unsweetened juice

• Choose juices that have no sugar added

• Read the ingredient list to see if your juice has added sugar

Pop –

• All sugar is added

• Will increase blood glucose levels

• Has no other nutrients

• Can lead to weight gain (if you drink 12 oz of pop a day for a year you’ll consume 30 lbs of sugar!)

• Too much pop may lead to weakened bones and then you’re more likely to break a bone

• Has lots of acid, which can harm your teeth

• If you drink lots of pop, you may not be drinking other healthy drinks such as water and milk

Diet pop –

• Has no sugar and won’t increase your blood glucose levels

• Has artificial sweeteners (aspartame and acesulfame potassium)

• Some artificial sweeteners have been approved in Canada (aspartame, acesulfame potassium, cyclamate, saccharin and sucralose)

• Unsure of the effects of artificial sweeteners on children

• Artificial sweeteners have not been around for many years, so not sure of the long term effects

• Has acids which can harm your teeth

• Water and milk are preferred choices for beverages

Sports drinks –

• Has added sugar

• Has water and electrolytes including sodium and potassium

• Is intended for athletes that are physically active for more than 60-90 minutes at one time and need to be replenished (especially if the person is sweating a lot)

• If you are not active for more than 60-90 minutes at a time, sports drinks are likely not necessary.

• Choose water if you are thirsty and a healthy snack such as fruit or whole grain muffin if you are hungry after being physically active.

Energy drinks -

• Has added sugar

• May contain: ginseng, taurine, vitamins & minerals, medicinal ingredients

• May contain high amounts of caffeine – from 50mg-505mg per can

• Not recommended for children

• Not recommended to consume with alcohol

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