Media watch

Australian media headlines - April 2017

Catch up on the most topical issues in sugars and health making the headlines this month

Media discussions centred on added sugars labelling and sugary drinks this month;

Coverage on added sugars labelling was prompted by;

  • An investigation  by LiveLighter into the added sugar content of yoghurts. Of the 197 flavoured/sweetened yoghurts included in the survey, 54.8% contained more than 12g of sugar per 100g.These findings prompted calls for added sugars labelling to help consumers identify low sugar and no added sugar products.
  • A CHOICE investigation which revealed that Australians could eliminate 38.3kg of “unnecessary” added sugar from their diets each year by making simple food swaps. In a follow up to this, CHOICE ran a campaign and online petition calling for the labeling of added sugars.

Coverage on sugary drinks focused on;

  • The 15th World Congress on Public Health took place in Melbourne on the 3-7 April and gained coverage, particularly across social media channels. A sugary drinks tax was at the forefront of the conversation at the conference.
  • Parents' Voice launched the “Water with that” campaign lobbying for fast food chains to offer water as the standard drink with children's meals.
  • Hospitals continued to remove sugary drinks from their cafeterias and vending machines. The campaign is being rolled out across Victoria in a push to address rising levels of obesity. Public health researchers from Deakin University say the two reasons for the focus on soft drink include; 1. Evidence that sugary drinks are linked to weight gain, dental caries and diabetes. And 2. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks are a tangible target where there’s no nutritional benefit but a lot of energy. This move was rejected by the Australian Beverages Council who pointed out government data showing that the proportion of kilojoules consumed from sugar-sweetened beverages declined 15 per cent in adults and 40 per cent in children between 1995 and 2011, yet obesity rates rose dramatically over that period.


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