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How do food brands overdose on sugar


Ever since we were kids, we enjoyed drinking Bournvita. It was part of our daily diet. Our parents and we considered the brand the righteous custodian of health and taste. But now, the spiralling controversy brings forth the reality of the food industry and how it is overdosing on sugar.


Bournvita is a malted milk powder brand that has been a household name in India since it was first introduced by Cadbury in 1948. Over the years, Bournvita has become synonymous with health, nutrition, and energy, thanks to its rich blend of malt, milk, and cocoa. However, in a recent viral video, Bournvita, a Cadbury company’s health-boosting powder, was slammed by an Instagram user. In addition, the video raised the issue of the high sugar content in the drink. Soon after the video was posted on social media, it went viral like wildfire. The video amassed more than 12 million views in just a few days. 

In response, in one of its most frantic decisions, Cadbury served a legal notice to the man, forcing him to take down the video. The extreme move raised suspicions over the entire matter and gave it fresh legs. But, unfortunately, serving the man's legal notice blew the incident out of proportion. 

Now even health experts, media outlets, and even legal bodies have jumped into the pool of controversy, diving deeper into the matter. 

Through this article, we will unravel the reality of the controversy and see how food brands are overdosing on sugar.

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What is the incident?

In a viral video, a social media influencer named Revant Himatsingka posted a video about the excess sugar content of Bournvita milk powder. However, Mondelez India-owned health drink brand did not agree to any of the claims and sent a legal notice to the influencer in an overly-proportional response. The legal threat finally forced Revant to take down the video, which as per Cadbury, was the end of it. 

However, the incident has sparked a string of questions about the factuality of the matter and why Cadbury had to serve a legal notice to the man when the issue could have been simply resolved with a quick fact-check post or video.

Bournvita does have excessive sugar:

You don’t need the genius to call out that this chocolate powder has excessive sugar. It is straight mentioned on its label. Every serving of one and a half teaspoons has about 7.5 grams of sugar. And as a standard, every kid must intake only 6 tablespoons of sugar daily. So every serving of the powder meets a quarter of a child’s sugar intake daily, which is a lot for just a glass of milk.

And we are only considering one glass of milk per day. In Indian households, drinking milk twice daily is very common for young kids and adults alike. So, if Bournvita meets about 50% of the total sugar intake of the day, how can parents stop their kids from not surpassing their sugar intake throughout the day?

The issue is far greater than we can perceive:

Surprisingly, Cadbury is not the only brand overdosing on sugar; the issue is not just limited to India. In the United States, the average daily intake of added sugars is about 17 teaspoons, far higher than the recommended limit of 6 tablespoons. This excess sugar intake is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. Sugar is a high-calorie substance that can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of chronic diseases.

And not just Bournvita; even soda and breakfast cereals are equal culprits:

And not just Cadbury; almost every food brand adds excessive sugar to products for elevated taste and an instant energy boost. One such example of a sugary beverage is soda. A single 12-ounce can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily limit. In addition, a study published in the journal Circulation found that individuals who consumed sugary beverages regularly had a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Even the healthy foods are not healthy:

Another example of a food with high sugar content is breakfast cereal. Many popular cereal brands are marketed as healthy options but often contain high-added sugars. For example, a serving of Kellogg's Froot Loops contains 12 grams of sugar, more than half the children's recommended daily limit.

The fatal health impacts of excess sugar:

Excess sugar intake has been linked to several health risks, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dental decay. Therefore, the World Health Organization recommends that adults and children limit their intake of free sugars (added sugars and those naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices) to less than 10% of their daily energy intake, with a further reduction to less than 5% providing additional health benefits.

Excess sugar intake can also harm dental health. For example, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that individuals who consumed sugary drinks more than once a day had a 30% higher risk of developing tooth decay than those who consumed them less frequently.


In conclusion, the controversy surrounding the high sugar content in Bournvita, a Cadbury-owned health drink, has brought to light a bigger issue of food brands overdosing on sugar. The incident highlights that we unknowingly feed our kids excessive sugar daily. 

The issue is not limited to Bournvita but includes other food items such as soda and breakfast cereals. Excessive sugar intake has been linked to several health risks, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dental decay. 

Individuals must limit their added sugars intake and consume a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. The controversy has brought much-needed attention to the issue of excessive sugar intake, and it is up to us to make healthier choices for ourselves and our children.

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