Experts warn boba tea just as unhealthy as soda

Popular Asian tea drink can lead to obesity and diabetes


LOS ANGELES – A new campaign is warning consumers that the popular Asian drink boba tea is not as healthy as many claim it to be.

KABC reports that experts now believe that the tea can be just as unhealthy as soda.

Invented in Taiwan in the 80's, Boba tea, or bubble tea, became popular in the U.S. about 15 years ago.

The teas usually contains a tea mixed with fruit or milk and are sold at juice bars and yogurt shops around the country.

However, the KABC report says a 12-ounce serving of boba tea contains almost 90 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat and 490 calories.

"You don't want that much sugar in your body every single day," Scott Chan, program manager at the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance, told KABC. "It has a lot of different impacts on your health."

The Alliance has started a campaign to raise awareness about the nutrition of boba tea.

Chan says that in the Asian community in L.A. County, there was a 68 percent increase in diabetes between 1997 and 2011.

People aren't being asked to completely leave boba tea out of their diet, but to drink it in moderation.