Rethink that sugary drink

Did you know some Aussie males aged 12-24 are knocking back a staggering 1.5 litres of soft drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks every day? That’s over 540 litres of sugary liquid a year!
Rethink Sugary Drink’s 16 teaspoons campaign flips the supposed ‘sweet’ deal big beverage brands are selling on its head by delivering a sinister insight into the future health of Aussie teens and their families if they regularly down sugary drinks.
While the drinks may be cheap and refreshing, in the long run these super sugary drinks can lead to unhealthy weight gain, increasing the risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer.

The campaign comes after research revealed in the Cancer Council Australia’s National Secondary Students’ Diet and Activity Survey that one in six is downing at least 5.2 kilograms of sugar each year from sugary drinks alone.

As a result, 19 national health and community organisations are participating in the Rethink Sugary Drinks’ 16 teaspoons campaign to highlight the health outcomes that come with drinking too much sugar.

The aim is to challenge young people’s perceptions of sugary drinks by exposing the serious damage regular sugar consumption can have on your health while encouraging people to cut back or remove sugary drinks from their diet.

Young Australians are very high consumers of sugar sweetened beverages, and sugar sweetened soft drinks in particular. The 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that 47 per cent of children (2 to 16 years of age) consumed sugar sweetened beverages (including energy drinks) every day.

In the 12 months to October 2012, Australians bought 1.28 billion litres of carbonated/still drinks with sugar, with regular cola drinks being the most popular (447 million litres).

Sugary drinks refer to all non-alcoholic beverages with added sugar, including sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drink, sports drink and cordial.

This term does not include unflavoured milk-based products, 100 per cent fruit juice or non-sugar sweetened drinks (i.e. artificial, non-nutritive or intensely sweetened).  While unflavoured milks are not technically considered sugary drinks flavoured milks can have large amounts of added sugar.

Similarly, while 100 per cent fruit juices are not considered sugary drinks many varieties come in serving sizes which exceed the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendation of no more than 125ml or half a cup of 100 per cent fruit juice a day. These drinks may also often contain additives to make them sweeter.

Join us in encouraging young Aussies to think twice before consuming sugary drinks and promoting water as the drink of choice, by sharing the 16 teaspoons video

For more information about the Rethink Sugary Drink 16 teaspoons campaign, visit

- Contributed by Australian Dental Association

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