All About Japan

App Visualizes How Much Sugar is in Your Drink

Food & Drink Smartphones

These days there are all kinds of information about how to stay healthy out there, but one thing that people seem to agree about, at least for now, is that you should try to decrease your consumption of sugar. Eating too much sugar is said to contribute to weight gain; increase your risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and speed up the aging process. And let’s not forget that our dentists have been telling us for years that sugar is bad for our teeth!

One major high-sugar culprit is definitely soft drinks. Sodas, juices, sports drinks, and pre-bottled coffees and teas are all known to have high levels of sugar. Unfortunately, sometimes even a conscientious consumer can find it hard to visualize how much sugar is in a soft drink, even after reading a label. Luckily, there’s an app for that.

Twitter user Daiki Shimizu (@432daiki) developed an app that scans the bar code of a soft drink and gives you a visual representation of how much sugar is in it. In the video above, which he posted on Twitter, he scans the bar code of a popular Japanese soda called Mitsuya Cider. Then after a brief moment, an image of a bottle pops up, and the gauge that shows how much of the drink is sugar climbs higher and higher.

The final product also says how many cubes of sugar is in one bottle of Mitsuya Cider: 13.8, which is quite a hefty amount. When he taps kakutei (確定, "confirm"), 13 cubes of sugar drop from the top of the screen, and, with every movement of his phone, tumble around like they’re inside of a jar. The app then displays "13.8 cubes" in larger numbers, and further specifies that 13.8 cubes of sugar is 229.2 percent of the recommended daily value. Sort of makes you want to put back the soda bottle, doesn’t it?

The app seems to only have Japanese language accessibility, and may not work on beverages that weren’t purchased in Japan. However, since the app itself can read Japanese, it can still tell you how much sugar is in a Japanese drink even if you can’t read the language, and can help you watch your sugar intake while traveling or living in Japan.

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