Diabetes group voices warning over lower sugar levels in Lucozade drinks

Diabetes group voices warning over lower sugar levels in Lucozade drinks

The chairperson of a diabetes support group has voiced strong concerns over the effects of energy drink Lucozade lowering its sugar content could have on sufferers.

The makers of Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, announced in November 2016 that it was to lower the sugar content in its drinks by more than 50 per cent and the change was rolled out in April of this year.

The St Helens & District Group of Diabetes UK has fired out a warning following the change, which it is said could have major implications for sufferers who use the drink during a 'hypo' fit in order to boost their blood glucose levels.

According to a Public Health document, St Helens was estimated to have 13,329 diabetics aged 16-plus in 2017, 9.1 per cent of the population.

Chairperson of the group Cherry Bowmaker said: "I've contacted Lucozade and explained the situation regarding the use of the drink to help with a 'hypo'.

"They said that it was on the website. I told them that if people had been using it for many years, why would they suddenly decide to look at the website? It wouldn't occur to you, it really needs to be on the label."

Cherry added: "What I and many people want and need is for it to be clearly written on the label, before folk start taking the amount of Lucozade that they've always had and end up unconscious because their blood sugar hasn't had enough fast acting carbs to increase their blood sugar levels."

In response, a Lucozade Ribena Suntory spokesperson said: “Our decision to halve the sugar in our drinks is in response to the growing demand from consumers for healthier options.

“While Lucozade Energy is not a prescribed product for medical use, we are working closely with Diabetes UK, Diabetes Ireland and all other relevant health-care bodies and professionals to communicate the formulation changes to people living with diabetes, as well as advertising the changes in relevant health-care media."

They added: “We are speaking directly to customers about the changes with our ongoing sampling campaign. Throughout July and August, we are giving out four million samples to people at the UK’s busiest train stations and shopping centres, while explaining the reformulation of Lucozade Energy.