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Sweet drink a day sends the fat your way

Just one can of sugary soft drink per day can add 6.75kg to your weight over a year.
Just one can of sugary soft drink per day can add 6.75kg to your weight over a year. Getty - Digital Vision

CHILDHOOD sugar consumption has hit an alarming high, with one-in-six Queensland kids drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage every day.

The 2012 Queensland Chief Health Officer's report revealed 16% of children aged 5-17 years consumed non-diet soft drink and non-diet flavoured drinks daily.

The prevalence of daily non-diet soft drink consumption also increased with age.

Cancer Council Queensland, Diabetes Queensland and the Heart Foundation have recommended adults and children limit their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and instead drink water or unflavoured low-fat milk.

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drink, cordial and sports drinks) is associated with serious health issues including weight gain and obesity, which can lead to some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson, Katie Clift, said one can of soft drink contained up to 10 teaspoons of sugar - far more than most people would believe.

"Targeted marketing has misled Queenslanders to believe soft drinks and energy drinks are an acceptable addition to a daily diet - they aren't," Ms Clift said.

"Consuming one can of soft drink every day, on top of your usual diet, could lead to an extra 6.75kg weight gain in just one year.

"While obesity is caused by a complex range of factors, we know that eating a healthy diet - limiting sugary, fatty and salty food and drinks - and being physically active are both important aspects of maintaining a healthy weight."

Currently, one in four Queensland adults is obese, with more than a quarter of the state's children aged between 5 and 17 weighing in as overweight or obese.

The concern supports recommendations made by Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia last week with the launch of the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign - a bid to tackle the over consumption of sugar sweetened beverages.

Suggestions for a social marketing campaign, introducing restrictions on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools and launching an investigation into tax options to increase the price of sugar-sweetened beverages are among the recommendations.

"These recommendations are important to the future health of our children and to the broader health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders," Ms Clift said.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au.

Topics:  cancer council queensland childhood obesity diabetes queensland drinks fat health heart foundation soft drinks sugar



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