University price hike modelling to reduce soft drink consumption ignores real life

12 August 2016

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

University price hike modelling to reduce soft drink consumption ignores real life

 

Responding to a recent study from the University of Melbourne suggesting an increase in soft drink prices would result in reduced consumption, Australian Beverages Council CEO, Geoff Parker said;

“A price hike on soft drinks as a way to reduce consumption is a lightweight solution to a more complex and heavier health issue” Mr Parker said.

“The study’s own findings show that many parents of small children were allowing them to consume soft drinks, which points to a deeper issue. The industry supports milk and water as the best drinks for small children. As kids get older, a variety of drinks can be introduced into a balanced diet in moderation. Parents need to be setting a positive example for their children to follow.

“The soft drinks tax in Mexico is often held up as some kind of success, when in fact it’s been a dismal failure. Mexicans aren’t getting any thinner because of the tax, and two thirds of the tax revenue is being collected from the lowest socio-economic households. This example of a price hike that attempted to reduce consumption would suggest that the most perfect university statistical model fails when it’s applied to real life.

 

“In Australia, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been declining for the last 15 years, as people move to a variety of drinks to suit their lifestyle and life stage, such as low and no kilojoule varieties. A CSIRO analysis of the latest ABS healthy survey data shows the average Australian child gets just 1.9% of their daily kilojoules from soft drinks. When we look at the dietary make-up for all children, 42% of their daily kilojoules comes from discretionary or treat foods and within that portion of the diet, soft drinks are ranked seventh from a kilojoule contribution perspective.

 

“Instead of a narrow focus on a small and declining part of the diet, researchers and health experts should be looking at ways of educating people on what a balanced diet looks like, how the occasional treat food or drink can fit into that and the role physical activity plays in a healthy lifestyle” Mr Parker concluded.

 

For more information: Geoff Parker, CEO – Australian Beverages Council 0407 646 195

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