Media Release

17 October 2014

Beverages Council responds to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Australian Beverages Council has responded to scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, who have called for exercise data to be printed on food and drink – by highlighting that the Australian industry has already taken significant measures to provide consumers with more options and information to allow informed dietary choices.

“Our focus is on ensuring transparency for consumers so that they can make healthy options and access the information required to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle,” said CEO, Geoff Parker.

“Whether it is new packaging, new portion sizes or the introduction of additional low or no kilojoule options, we are consistently working to provide products that allow consumers to make choices that are right for them and their families.

The non-alcoholic beverages industry has voluntarily displayed kilojoule information on the front of labels and has restricted sales of regular kilojoule soft drinks in schools.

“The key to a balanced lifestyle is moderation. Soft drinks, as with all food and beverages, have a place in an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity”, says CEO, Geoff Parker.

“The fact that three of the top four biggest selling soft drinks in Australia are now low or no kilojoule shows that companies are responding to shifting consumer demands. Research confirms that Australians have embraced the extra choice now on offer and are opting for less kilojoules when it comes to the beverages they consume.”

“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.”

“Moreover, sugar contribution from carbonated soft drinks has dropped by around a quarter (26%) per person as consumers switch from sugar-sweetened to non-sugar sweetened soft drink,” concludes Parker.

ENDS

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.

For more information contact:

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

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141017 Response to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Healh calling for exercise data APPROVED

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