12 August 2016
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