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.
When some properties hit the market sometimes the value on offer is very obvious. The Sebel building is regarded as quality. Located directly on the border of...
Penthouse living doesn't get much better than this double storey, fully furnished penthouse at the northern end of Mooloolaba within walking distance of both...
- Entertain in style with the covered pavilion or the outdoor entertaining billiard area - Open plan living & entertaining with stylish touches. Internal wired...
You have got two chances to buy brand new duplexes located in a quiet cul-de-sac opposite waterfront homes. Set on 1,120sqm corner block in the exclusive Boronia...
An individual in style and design now is your chance to purchase the very meaning of convenience. Brand new and waiting for you, absolutely nothing to do but move...
- Situated in a sought after position only 320m to the beautiful Dicky Beach - Three bedrooms with a solid brick construction & located in a quiet street - Set on...
- 4 large bedrooms, including main with en-suite and walk in robe - Great open plan living, flowing out to alfresco entertaining area - Spacious kitchen with...
When design, quality, elegance and location all seamlessly mold together, you have the perfect property. 6 Thornbill Court embodies all of these benefits and is...
On offer is a large two bedroom apartment with everything at your doorstep. The beach is approximately 150 metres away and the park directly across the road. This...
- Unique opportunity to secure a home with lake views at Dicky Beach - Tightly held area, properties rarely offered for sale - 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, powder...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.