Sugar-sweetened Beverages – Position Statement

Key Messages:

Cancer Council recommends that the Australian Government introduce a targeted health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages, to effect a price increase of at least 20%. This levy should form part of a comprehensive approach to reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, including restrictions on children’s exposure to marketing of these products, restrictions on their sale in schools, other children’s settings, and public institutions, as well as effective public education campaigns.

The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased energy intake and in turn, weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and 13 types of cancer.

Young Australians are very high consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks in particular. The highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages are male adolescents (14 to 18 years of age), and males are higher consumers than females across all age groups.

The prevalence of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is higher among lower socio-economic groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A range of factors influence the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, including taste, social settings, availability, price and marketing.

See the full position statement:
Sugar-sweetened Beverages Position Statement