New PSA compares sugary drinks to cigarettes

ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton says sugary drinks and cigarettes can both cause cancer, are linked to poor dental health and can lead to heart disease.
2:14 | 01/12/19

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Transcript for New PSA compares sugary drinks to cigarettes
In today's "Weekend down load," a new media campaign comparing sugary drinks to cigarettes. Health officials in New York City releasing a new psa. Take a look. Which one of these is okay to give my kids? This one has a warning from the surgeon general. This one has over 15 teaspoons of sugar and can lead to tooth loss, increased risk of heart disease and conditions that can lead to cancer. Okay, now joining us to talk about the concerns is ABC's chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton and you also happen to have a degree in nutrition. You know all about this. Is this overhyped or is this real? I think it's real and I think we will start to see it in other states all over the country. If you talk about the two and you compare them head-to-head, cancer associated with both. Excess weight which leads to diabetes, which leads to heart disease. Also you see heart disease with cigarettes. Both bad for dental health and well-being so we're talking about added excess sugar. It is a major problem in our society and in our diet. When you put it like that, it sounds so much worse. Sorry. So, exactly how much sugar are we getting? Let's go through some numbers. First of all, the world health organization recommends no more than 25 grams a day for kids and women. If you're a man that's 37 grams a day. That's about seven teaspoons of sugar. When you talk about the amount of sugar in one 20-ounce sugary beverage like a soda, this is what it looks like, it's 15 teaspoons, that's more than twice what you should be getting in an entire day and it's juice, sports drinks, all kinds of stuff. When you pour the sugar out it makes it much more dramatic. What do you do to cut down? This is my tip for parents and for their kids. Number one, do not put these drinks in Sippy cups or bottles for babies and toddlers, they should be drinking water and milk. Read the labels. Get their sweet fix from real fruit. That's obviously fine and, listen, we have to lead by example. We have to talk the talk and walk the walk. I'm really glad the vending machine wasn't working this morning. I was about to have a diet coke and didn't get to have one. Thanks, Dr. Ashton, for joining us. Adrienne, no more sodas. You know what, I'm rethinking that chai tea and hot chocolate. Thank you very much to you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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