Media Statement

9 October, 2015

New campaign against soft drinks fails to tackle real health challenges

Responding to the ‘Rethink Sugary Drink’ campaign, which targets sugar-sweetened drink consumption and its purported impact on health, Geoff Parker, Australian Beverages Council CEO, states:

“Continuing to vilify soft drinks as a leading cause of obesity is distorting the reality of the health landscape in Australia.

“To single out sugar sweetened beverages as a primary factor of chronic disease oversimplifies a complex public health issue. The latest Australian Health Survey showed that for the average adult, just 1.7 per cent of the daily intake of kilojoules comes from soft drinks. This pales in comparison to nearly 6 per cent from alcohol. Furthermore, in the discretionary food and drink category, soft drinks are ranked seventh in kilojoule contribution at just 4 per cent, a long way behind confectionery and chocolate which tops the list at 18 per cent.

“The beverage industry continues to adapt to changing consumer tastes including increasing promotion of smaller packs and offering more lower kilojoule options. Three out of the four biggest selling soft drinks in Australia are low or no kilojoule and as a category, beverages are unique in offering consumers alternative kilojoule options.

“Consuming a diet with too many kilojoules from any source, including from soft drinks, can lead to weight gain. It is essential to consume a variety of food and beverages in moderation, which can include those containing sugar and be part of a balanced lifestyle. Moderation is the key” Mr Parker concluded. 

Ends

For more information contact:

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

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