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Statement from Obesity Policy Coalition's Jane Martin on pledge by Australian Beverages Council to reduce sugar across the industry

Monday 25 June, 2018

Statement from Obesity Policy Coalition Executive Manager Jane Martin on today’s pledge by the Australian Beverages Council to reduce sugar across the industry:

“The Australian Beverages Council’s pledge to reduce sugar in drinks by 20 per cent by 2025 is little more than an attempt to capitalise on the low-sugar trend and drive sales.

“Without stronger mandatory action, including a 20% health levy and clearer nutrition labelling, it’s unlikely that this pledge will do anything to deter people from drinking existing high-sugar drinks.

“The Australian Beverages Council’s pledge is not necessarily a promise to make all products 20% less sugary. It’s about sales volume – increasing the sales of low and no-sugar products and will not see the reduction in sugar consumption that we need to curb Australia’s obesity epidemic

“To have a real impact on Australia’s overweight and obesity problem, we need a raft of measures including a 20% health levy on sugary drinks.

“A health levy is about nudging people – especially children – away from unhealthy options and encouraging healthier choices. Soft drinks and other sugary drinks have no place in a healthy, balanced diet.”