MEDIA STATEMENT

21 February 2014

Response to Government proposal to have soft drinks banned from sporting events

The Australian Beverages Council has today responded to the Queensland Chief Health Officer’s call for parents to lobby their local sporting club to ban the sale of soft drinks, announced today.

“Today’s announcement is a case of the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, jumping at shadows and employing nanny state tactics to address a complex and multi-factorial problem like overweight and obesity,” said CEO Geoff Parker.

“Sporting clubs don’t need ‘Government by stealth’ in their canteens which provide a valuable source of fundraising to keep the fields mown and the equipment in good working order. Parents have responsibility not only for what their children eat and drink, but for providing positive examples of behavior. Bans aren’t the solution to teach people what a balanced diet is” said Mr Parker.

“Research shows that the average kid gets just 1.6% of their daily energy (kilojoules) from soft drinks1. The data also tells us that approximately 10% of soft drinks are consumed during a leisure activity, such as at a sporting ground1. This means Queensland’s top health officer is mounting a misguided campaign to tackle 0.16% of the average kid’s dietary kilojoules. Surely this effort would be better served by the Government teaching kids about a balanced diet and the importance of physical exercise rather than trying to persuade parents to do their bidding for them and at the same time take away a core revenue stream for most sporting clubs. Queensland parents are smarter than that Dr Young” said Mr Parker.

1 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey Volume Two: Nutrient Intakes. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, 2007

 

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.

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