Media Statement

20 May, 2015

Australian Beverages Council responds to Labor’s calls for restrictions on sugar-sweetened beverages

Responding to the latest calls from the Labor Government to phase out sugary drinks from Tasmania’s schools, Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker said:

“One has to question the effectiveness of choosing to phase out or effectively ban soft drinks as a key political platform.

“Such regulations are not the prescription for a healthier Tasmania.

“Soft drinks are not the root cause of obesity. In Australia only 1.9 per cent of the daily intake of kilojoules for children under 18 comes from soft drinks1 and in fact the amount of sugar consumed through soft drinks has dropped by 26 per cent over the last 15 years while obesity continues to rise2.

“Interestingly, 65 per cent of soft drinks are consumed in the home environment3, which is over five times the amount consumed in institutions such as high schools, given that soft drinks are not sold in primary schools. The industry willingly complies with all relevant school canteen guidelines, be that primary or high schools.

“Research has shown, most Australian parents agree that programs promoting healthy diet and lifestyle are the most effective way to tackle obesity, followed by nutrition information on packs and vending machines4.

“In this instance, the Labor Government is underestimating the common sense approach that the majority of Tasmanian parents already apply. The concept of a ban on a small and declining part of the average child’s diet is a light-weight approach to a more complex problem facing society.

Ends

For more information contact:

Geoff Parker, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council, M: 0407 646 195

1 Australian Health Survey – CSIRO Secondary Analysis commissioned by Australian Beverages Council

2 Levy G.S., Shrapnel W.S. (2014) Quenching Australia’s thirst: a trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011. Nutrition & Dietetics. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12108

3 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey http://australianbeverages.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Beverages-Council-KEKP-Report.pdf

4 2014 Ipsos National Consumer Survey n=2,136

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150520 Media Statement – ABCL response to Labors calls to ban sugar sweetened beverages in schools

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