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.”