IPSWICH parents have been advised to minimise the sugar intake of their children as much as possible in the wake of alarming new statistics that show that more than a quarter of Queensland children aged five to 17 are overweight.
The statistics were released by Queensland's chief health officer, Jeannette Young. Ms Young has called for parents to ban their children from consuming soft drink and fruit juice until they are of high school age.
Ipswich-based nutritionist Jacinta Harding, of Optimum Health, Nutritional Health and Wellness Clinic, said that over consumption of sugar creates major heath issues. A 375ml can of soft drink contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and Ms Harding said parents should "minimise it as much as possible" in their children's diets.
"As an occasional event food or party food I don't see it as a huge issue, but unfortunately it has become a lot more than that," she said. "Sugar is the energy source for diseases such as cancer, so it is not something that you want in abundance in your body.
"Diabetes is our biggest growing disease at the moment ... as a result of sugar and lifestyle habits."
Australian-owned beverage company Tru Blu Beverages has a manufacturing factory in Bundamba. When asked to comment on Dr Young's remarks, a spokesman for the company referred the QT to its website where it says that "Tru Blu Beverages recognise the impact that modern food and beverage can have on nutrition and health".
"To this end, wherever possible, we use natural colours and flavours to enhance our products and actively strive to reduce the amount of sugar and preservatives in our drinks helping to give peace of mind to our customers."