SUGAR in drinks is public enemy number one for three of the country's leading health organisations, with good reason, but not all agree that it should be singled out for attention in the fight against obesity.
Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia have joined forces for the first time to call for action by governments, schools and non-government organisations targeting sugary drinks, which is one of the key contributors to obesity.
One measure they have called for is a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to encourage consumers to reduce their intake.
However a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia believes we need to look at the broader causes of obesity rather than just focusing on sugary drinks.
"We support tighter regulation on the marketing of foods generally that don't have a whole lot of nutrition," DAA spokesperson Margaret Hays said.
"And we're not convinced that making certain foods (sugary drinks) more expensive necessarily means that people will stop buying it.
"Obesity is a complex problem and one thing to consider is that everything comes in a bigger package these days. Portion sizes in general have increased.
"So my number one message is eat less and drink less, full stop."
The three health organisations pointed to a 2007 study which found almost half (47%) of children aged two to 16 consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (including energy drinks) daily, with a quarter (25%) consuming sugary soft drinks daily.
Another recent study by Cancer Council and Heart Foundation found that one in five secondary schools in Australia had vending machines - 49% of which contained sports drinks, and 38% soft drinks.
The organisations have launched a TV campaign called Rethink Sugary Drink.
Other recommendations include a call for a social marketing campaign to highlight the health impacts of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, restrictions by governments to reduce children's exposure to marketing of sugary drinks through schools and sporting events and an investigation to reduce points of sale of such drinks to children.
- A 600ml sugar-sweetened soft drink contains about 16 packs/teaspoons of sugar.
- Based on US estimates, consuming one can of soft drink per day could lead to a 6.75 kg weight gain in one year.
- In the 12 months to October 2012, Australians bought 1.28 billion litres of carbonated/still drinks with sugar, with regular cola drinks being the most popular (447 million litres).
Do you avoid sugary drinks?
This poll ended on 25 January 2013.
Yes - 60%
No - 39%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
This home offers a wonderful entry level opportunity to live on the Southside. An extremely neat and tidy spacious home with recent modern renovations completed. ...
There is more than meets the eye with this charming home, delightfully modern inside with plenty of room for the growing family. With an easy to maintain 564 m2...
This neat, quaint home offers great value, affordability and an opportunity to enter the property market and purchase your own home. With a new roof and steel...
Snap up this sensational brick family home -in the heart of Gracemere - amazing in its design and spaciousness, fabulous in its location, top value for money! ...
Designed and finished to deliver fuss free living in the most convenient of locations, these exceptional brand new apartments all offer the space of a traditional...
This immaculate 3 bedroom and Office homeis clad for low maintenance and is arguably great value for money at $199,000. Polished timber floors and quality vinyl...
You will simply love this amazing apartment in the heart of the CBD. What a brilliant location on the Top Floor of the the Walter Reid Building which offers so...
This 4 bedroom highset brick based, hardiplank home is only a short walk to Heights College and only a stones throw to CQ University. Downs Stairs has lockable car...
Setting new standards in stylish spacious family living, this stunning residence boasts all the space the larger or growing family could ever desire. Beautifully...
Superbly positioned with captivating city views it will be hard to envisage a more perfect place to live. This warm, charming home has the perfect fusion of...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.