How many pancakes is your soft drink worth?

American pancakes

Excess sugar is so bad for our health that the BMA wants to tax sweet drinks by 20%. Here are five soft drinks more than worth their weight in Tate & Lyle

How much sugar do you take in your 300ml cup of tea? Two teaspoons? One? None? Three would be ridiculous, right? Both madly sweet and very unhealthy. As a British Medical Association (BMA) report published on Monday puts it: “A high intake of added sugars is a risk factor for a range of health conditions.” Which is why the BMA suggests that “a useful first step” to improving the nation’s health “would be to implement a duty on sugar-sweetened beverages … by increasing the price by at least 20%”.

So, how much sugar do you think there is in a 300ml glass of milk? Whole milk, skimmed milk; it makes no difference. Give up? It’s 3.9 teaspoons. Admittedly, that’s lactose, rather than added sucrose, which is sweeter – but it’s sugar nonetheless, with the same calorie content.

That’s the trouble with sugar. It’s a master of disguise. If you doubt it, consider these drinks and their sugary equivalents. And remember that these are equivalents in sugar only, not calories as a whole.

Old Jamaica ginger beer, 330ml

50g, or almost 10 Delia Smith pancakes with a teaspoon of sugar and a squeeze of lemon on each

Innocent pomegranate, blueberry and acai smoothie, 250ml

35g, or two-and-a-third BBC Good Food meringues “sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream”

Dr Pepper, 330ml

34g, or 850g of raw sweet red peppers, which is about six of them

Belvoir Elderflower presse, 330ml

33g, or just over one-and-a-half servings of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice-cream

San Pellegrino Limonata, 330ml (a G2 favourite)

33g, or 1.6kg of boiled mung beans or 3.7kg of cooked quinoa

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Leo Benedictus, for The Guardian on Monday 13th July 2015 19.17 Europe/London

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