12 January 2015
Beverages Council responds to Deakin University research linking caffeine content with increased consumption of soft drinks
The Australian Beverages Council, representing the local soft drinks industry, has responded to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition from Deakin University which suggests the presence of caffeine in soft drinks increases consumption.
“The study of just 99 people should be kept in context of the evidence base when considering future policy settings on caffeine in drinks. The authors themselves noted the inherent design flaws and that the study could not determine any changes in BMI nor energy intake differences between the group consuming soft drinks with caffeine and those that didn’t” said the Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.
“Caffeine has been consumed for hundreds of years and is found in a wide range of foods and drinks including chocolate, coffee, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, tea, pastries, flavoured milk and soft drinks. The use of caffeine in soft drinks in Australia as either a flavour or functional ingredient is strictly controlled which compares to little or no regulation when it comes to other products.
“Recent research has found that the soft drink category has undergone a fundamental shift in the past 15 years and now nearly one in two drinks consumed are non-sugar varieties, compared to 30 per cent in 1997. As a result, sugar contribution from carbonated soft drinks has dropped between 1997 and 2011 by 26% per capita as consumers switch from sugar-sweetened to non-sugar sweetened soft drink. Today, adults get just 1.8% of their kilojoules from soft drinks and children just 2.2%,” Mr Parker said.
“Given the study’s limitations, the already strict regulations over the use of caffeine in soft drinks and the shift away from sugar-sweetened soft drinks, any calls for more regulations on caffeine as a way to reduce obesity is misguided and out of step with reality” Mr Parker concluded.
For more information contact:
Geoff Parker, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council, M: 0407 646 195