What are you drinking?

A recent article in The Advertiser reported on the action being taken by a coalition of health groups including the Cancer Council, Obesity Society, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation to lobby Coca-Cola to take more responsibility for the products it sells. The specific requests from the health groups included reduction in the amount of sugar contained in the drinks and ceasing marketing and sponsorship to children and sporting events. Soft drinks are a significant factor in the obesity epidemic that we are facing in Australia where two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese.

The major issue with soft drinks are that they provide a huge amount of calories from the sugar they contain yet don’t provide the consumer with any sense of feeling full. They also don’t contain any other nutrients of any value other than water for hydration and are simply a sugary cocktail of artificial colours and flavours. In this sense they don’t really have a place as part of a balanced, nutritious diet.

Providing soft drinks to children on a regular basis also sets up unhealthy patterns of consumption and may lead to excessive weight gain. Start your children on water and make this the major source of fluid intake for all of your family to achieve better health for all.

-Kristin Lewis

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