Media Statement

29 October, 2015

Sugary Drink Forum misses key issues of obesity

Responding to news following today’s Sugary Drink Forum, which targets soft drink consumption, Geoff Parker, Australian Beverages Council CEO, states:

“Continuing to widely decree soft drinks as the primary cause of obesity is an active distortion of the health landscape in Australia.

“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.

“Introducing sales restrictions is an unnecessary limitation that will not aid in teaching healthy lifestyles or promoting more physical activity. In actuality, three of the top-selling beverage brands are diet or low kilojoule.

“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.

“We have long recognised we can play a role, along with the community and other stakeholders, in addressing Australia’s pressing overweight and obesity challenge. As an industry we have undertaken significant measures to provide consumers with more options and information to allow informed dietary choices. These measures include more low-kilojoule choices, clear kilojoule labelling on the front of packs and smaller pack sizes.

“The concept of a ban on a small and declining part of the average adult diet is a light-weight approach to a more complex problem facing our society.” Mr Parker concluded.

Ends

For more information contact:

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

 

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