Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of
Australia have issued recommendations about the sale and availability
of sugar-sweetened beverages as well as launched a new public service
announcement titled “Rethink Sugary Drinks.”

According to a January 17, 2013, press release, the three organizations “have
called for immediate action by governments, schools and non-government
organizations such as sport centers to tackle one of the key contributors to
obesity in Australia—sugary drinks.”

In particular, the groups advocate (i) a government-sponsored social marketing campaign “to highlight the health impacts of sugar sweetened beverages consumption and encourage people to reduce their consumption levels”; (ii) a Federal Department of Treasury and Finance investigation “into tax options to increase the price of sugar-sweetened beverages or sugar-sweetened soft drinks, with the aim of changing purchasing habits and achieving healthier diets”; (iii) government restrictions on the marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to children, “including through schools and children’s sports, events and activities”; (iv) state government restrictions on sugar-sweetened beverage sales in all schools as well as places frequented by children, “with adequate resources to ensure effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation”; and (v) state and local government investigation “into the steps that may be taken to reduce the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages in workplaces, government institutions, health care settings and other public places.”

“Soft drinks seem innocuous and consumed occasionally they’re fine, but soft drink companies have made it so they’re seen as part of an everyday diet—there’s an entire aisle dedicated to them in the supermarket, most venues and workplaces have vending machines packed with them, they’re often cheaper than bottled water and are advertised relentlessly to teenagers,” said Cancer Council Australia’s Public Health Committee Chair Craig Sinclair. “But sugary drinks shouldn’t be part of a daily diet—many people would be surprised to know that a regular 600ml soft drink contains about 16 packs of sugar and that’s a lot of empty kilojoules. Yet they’re being consumed at levels that can lead to serious health issues for the population—it’s time to stop sugar-coating the facts.”

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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