The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) welcomes the launch of the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) new social media campaign, #SicklySweet, which turns the tables on catchy soft drink ads to educate Australians about the health risks of drinking these sugar-laden drinks.
OPC Executive Manager, Jane Martin, said the campaign sends an important message about the long-term health impacts of these sugary products and highlights the need for stronger action to be taken to reduce consumption and support the health of Australians.
“Sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar in Australian’s diets, increasing the risk of obesity and chronic disease. Public education campaigns like this help cut through the spin rolled out by processed food and drink companies and reveal the true long-term health impacts caused by these products.”
“We need to get serious about the true cost of these drinks and although education is important, we need to also leverage proven actions, such as a health levy to have a real, long-lasting impact on consumption.”
“More than 50 countries around the world, including the UK, South Africa and Mexico have introduced levies on sugary drinks, with clear evidence to show a reduction in the consumption of sugary drinks and in some cases, even voluntary reformulation by beverage companies to reduce the sugar content in their products.”
“The evidence is clear that a levy is effective and should be part of a comprehensive and coordinated set of policies to improve diets and address obesity. It’s time for the Government to put the health of Australians above the industry profits and include a 20% levy on sugar-sweetened beverages as part of the National Obesity Prevention Strategy currently being finalised.”