29 January 2015

Media Statement

Australian Beverages Council responds to Harvard Medical School Study

The Australian Beverages Council has responded to a study by the Harvard Medical School, published in the Human Reproduction journal, which looks at the correlation between sugar-sweetened drinks and the age at which girls have their first period, saying that girls who consume “sugary drinks” tend to start their menstrual periods earlier.

The beverages industry says neither this study nor the body of science show that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption causes early onset of menarche. What the body of science supports is that adolescent girls are reaching puberty earlier than prior generations; however, there is no scientific consensus concerning the cause of this trend.

“The Australian beverages industry is responsive to the health and dietary requirements of Australians but isolating any food or beverage as the sole contributor in any adverse health outcome overlooks many other factors that need to be considered such as health, diet and lifestyle,” the Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker said.

“The key to a balanced lifestyle is moderation. Soft drinks, as with all food and beverages, have a place in an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity”, says CEO, Geoff Parker.

“The fact that three of the top four biggest selling soft drinks in Australia are now low or no kilojoule shows that companies are responding to shifting consumer demands. Research confirms that Australians have embraced the extra choice now on offer and are opting for less kilojoules when it comes to the beverages they consume.”

“The soft drink category has undergone a fundamental shift in the past 15 years and now nearly one in two drinks consumed are non-sugar varieties, compared to 30 per cent in 1997.”

“Moreover, sugar contribution from carbonated soft drinks has dropped by around a quarter (26%) per person as consumers switch from sugar-sweetened to non-sugar sweetened soft drink,” concludes Parker.

-ENDS-

Media contact:

Geoff Parker – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council

+61 (0)407 646 195

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.

Australian Beverages Council responds to Harvard Medical School Study

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