SUGAR in drinks is public enemy number one for three of the country's leading health organisations, with good reason, but not all agree that it should be singled out for attention in the fight against obesity.
Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia have joined forces for the first time to call for action by governments, schools and non-government organisations targeting sugary drinks, which is one of the key contributors to obesity.
One measure they have called for is a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to encourage consumers to reduce their intake.
However a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia believes we need to look at the broader causes of obesity rather than just focusing on sugary drinks.
"We support tighter regulation on the marketing of foods generally that don't have a whole lot of nutrition," DAA spokesperson Margaret Hays said.
"And we're not convinced that making certain foods (sugary drinks) more expensive necessarily means that people will stop buying it.
"Obesity is a complex problem and one thing to consider is that everything comes in a bigger package these days. Portion sizes in general have increased.
"So my number one message is eat less and drink less, full stop."
The three health organisations pointed to a 2007 study which found almost half (47%) of children aged two to 16 consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (including energy drinks) daily, with a quarter (25%) consuming sugary soft drinks daily.
Another recent study by Cancer Council and Heart Foundation found that one in five secondary schools in Australia had vending machines - 49% of which contained sports drinks, and 38% soft drinks.
The organisations have launched a TV campaign called Rethink Sugary Drink.
Other recommendations include a call for a social marketing campaign to highlight the health impacts of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, restrictions by governments to reduce children's exposure to marketing of sugary drinks through schools and sporting events and an investigation to reduce points of sale of such drinks to children.
- A 600ml sugar-sweetened soft drink contains about 16 packs/teaspoons of sugar.
- Based on US estimates, consuming one can of soft drink per day could lead to a 6.75 kg weight gain in one year.
- In the 12 months to October 2012, Australians bought 1.28 billion litres of carbonated/still drinks with sugar, with regular cola drinks being the most popular (447 million litres).
Do you avoid sugary drinks?
This poll ended on 25 January 2013.
Yes - 60%
No - 39%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Whether you're looking to secure a neat and comfortable family home with plenty of yard space for the outdoor coastal lifestyle, or you want to capitalise on a...
Owners have now relocated and we are instructed to sell. Sensational parcel of level land in a quiet location on 4000m2. Light filled open plan living, with raked...
Nestled in Black Mountain and only 5 minutes from the quaint Hinterland Town of Cooroy lies this fully useable 20 plus acre lifestyle property. Fully fenced and...
Owned by one of Noosa's historic families for nearly 60 years, this magnificent block with panoramic views over Lake Doonella is reluctantly being relinquished. ...
Located in the iconic Skippers Cove beachfront resort at Noosaville This gorgeous plantation style townhouse overlooks the sparkling resort pools A very generous...
- Recently renovated and extended to capture pretty Noosa River views - Private Balcony overlooking the Noosa River - This stylish townhouse offers lifestyle and...
- Wake up with the water at your front door, this won't last long - Invest with confidence with future growth assure from this location - Stunning ocean views...
Located right in the heart of Greenwood Grove estate and walking distance to town this fabulous property has a lot to offer. Great open plan living with plenty of...
This is one location where a car is definitely not necessary!! If you are a lover of nature and revel in the beauty of our fabulous Lake Doonella or simply...
Are you looking for a solid investment that you can either develop now and reap the immediate benefits or enjoy the charm and ambiance that this charismatic...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.