One in six kids are drinking sugary drinks each day

A report reveals children aged five to 17 are consuming far too much sugar through sweet drinks such as soft drink, sweetened juice and sports drinks.
A report reveals children aged five to 17 are consuming far too much sugar through sweet drinks such as soft drink, sweetened juice and sports drinks. THINKSTOCK

CHILDHOOD sugar consumption has hit an alarming high, with one in six Queensland kids drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage every day.

The 2012 Queensland Chief Health Officer's Report revealed 16 per cent of children aged five to 17 years consumed non-diet soft drink and non-diet flavoured drinks daily.

The prevalence of daily non-diet soft drink consumption also increased with age.

Cancer Council Queensland, Diabetes Queensland and the Heart Foundation have recommended Queensland adults and children limit their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and instead drink water or unflavoured low-fat milk.

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drink, cordial and sports drinks) is associated with serious health issues including weight gain and obesity, which can lead to some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said one can of soft drink contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar - far more than most Queenslanders would believe.

"Targeted marketing has misled Queenslanders to believe soft drinks and energy drinks are an acceptable addition to a daily diet - they aren't," Ms Clift said.

"Consuming one can of soft drink every day, on top of your usual diet, could lead to an extra 6.75kg weight gain in just one year.

"While obesity is caused by a complex range of factors, we know that eating a healthy diet - limiting sugary, fatty and salty food and drinks - and being physically active are both important aspects of maintaining a healthy weight."

Currently, one in four Queensland adults is obese, with more than a quarter of the state's children aged between five and 17 weighing in as overweight or obese.

The concern supports recommendations made by Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia last week with the launch of the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign - a bid to tackle the over-consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.

Suggestions for a social marketing campaign, introducing restrictions on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools and launching an investigation into tax options to increase the price of sugar-sweetened beverages are among the range of recommendations.

"These recommendations are important to the future health of our children and to the broader health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders," Ms Clift said.

>> More information 

Do you support a tax on sugary drinks?

This poll ended on 25 January 2013.

Yes, it's long overdue - 10%

Yes, anything to stop kids consuming too much sugar - 4%

No, it's a bad idea to tax products for such a reason - 21%

No, we should be focusing more on awareness than taxes - 30%

Not sure - 0%

No, taxing products won't stop people, they'll just pay more for them - 32%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  cancer council queensland children diabetes queensland health heart foundation sugar

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