Media Release

19 July 2013

Australian beverage industry responds to West Australia’s Live Lighter campaign

The Australian Beverages Council, representing the Australian non-alcoholic beverage industry has today responded to the recent launch of the Live Lighter campaign being led by the West Australian Health Department, Heart Foundation and Cancer Council, that claims the consumption of sugary drinks leads to obesity and chronic disease.

“Focusing on a single source of kilojoules in the diet hasn’t worked in the past and ignores the concept of the total diet. No one food or beverage causes overweight or obesity. Consuming more kilojoules than what is burnt through physical activity is what leads to weight gain,” Council’s CEO, Geoff Parker said.

“Over the last decade the Australian beverage industry has taken a proactive approach to being part of the solution in addressing the complex and multi-factorial issue of obesity. The industry has voluntarily:

  • Restricted marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to children under 12 years of age
  • Clearly labelled the kilojoules on a per serve basis on the front label of cans and bottles
  • Reformulated products to include a wide range of low and no kilojoule options
  • Restricted sales of sugar-sweetened soft drinks to primary schools and complied with all relevant school canteen guidelines.

Recently released results from the World Health Organisation (WHO) study on sugar intake and weight status concludes that it’s the calories (kilojoules) that count and not anything unique about sugar, that contributes to weight gain. Swapping sugar for other forms of carbohydrate, such as that from starches and grains, will not stop weight gain.

Additionally, according to the World Diabetes Federation, ultimately the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes is lifestyle factors, including obesity and sedentary behaviour, as well as family history, age and ethnicity.

“All kilojoules count regardless of the source. The industry produces a range of hydration options to suit everybody’s lifestyle and all beverages can be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet supported by regular physical activity” Mr Parker concluded.

190713 Australian beverage industry responds to Live Lighter campaign

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Geoff Parker, please contact:

Geoff Parker, 02 9662 2844/ 0407 646 195

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.

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