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The weight of evidence suggests that soft drinks are a major issue in childhood and adolescent obesity

Timothy P Gill, Anna M Rangan and Karen L Webb
Med J Aust 2006; 184 (6): 263-264.

There is much to be gained by reducing children’s intake of soft drinks and little — except excess weight — to be lost

Childhood obesity is a major health issue in Australia. In recent months, a number of organisations, including the Australian Medical Association,1 have released statements demanding stronger action on this issue, including a call to restrict access to and marketing of soft drinks to help reduce children’s consumption. However, the soft-drink industry rejects these proposals and argues that their product is being unfairly singled out for action. Further, many parents are confused as to why a drink they often consider to be a harmless treat should be labelled so damaging to their children’s health. In considering the suggested policy changes, it is therefore important to weigh up the information we currently have about the extent of soft-drink consumption, its impact on childhood obesity, and the potential of a reduction in consumption to contribute to improved weight control.

  • Timothy P Gill1
  • Anna M Rangan2
  • Karen L Webb3

  • NSW Centre for Public Health Nutrition, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

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