If you’ve ever wondered just how bad sugary drinks are for you, artist Henry Hargreaves’ new project will drive the point home. Hargreaves’ (de)hydrate series features lurid images of candy lollipops made from boiled-down popular soft drinks. The images show the staggering sugar content of these commonplace drinks, allowing viewers to see them for what they are – junk food.



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Hargreaves, a photographer and food artist based in Brooklyn, wanted to explore the dietary secrets behind the bottles of beverages we buy day in and day out without any thought to their content. Popular drinks like Coca Cola, Snapple, Mountain Dew, Monster Energy drink and Power Ade were put to the test to reveal their true sugar contents. Even drinks masquerading as “healthy,” like Vitamin Water and Zico Coconut Water, were put to Hargreaves’ art-meets-science experiment.

Related: Study Finds Sugar-Loaded Drinks Responsible for Over 180,000 Deaths Worldwide

After hours of boiling down, each beverage was reduced to a sticky mass of sugar, some larger than others. Each of the boiled beverages were then poured into a mold emblazoned with the soft drink’s name, and cast into the shape of a traditional lollipop.

The resulting sugary suckers are less than appealing, with gritty textures and unfavorable colors. But what the suckers lack in delectability, they make up for with truth. Thanks to Hargreaves’ project, viewers can easily understand that what they think merely quenches their thirst, is just candy masquerading as a beverage.

+ Henry Hargreaves

Via Junk Culture