High praise from leading health experts for QLD's ban on sugary drink promotion on all Government-owned ad spaces

The 19 leading health and community organisations behind Rethink Sugary Drink have applauded the Queensland Government’s announcement to ban unhealthy food and drink promotions on all Government-owned advertising spaces.

The plan will see all new advertising contracts featuring high fat, salt and sugar products phased out from the state’s rail network, buses, bus shelters, roadsides and outside major hospitals.

Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink, said it is important for all Australian state governments to lead by example and provide supportive, healthy environments in order to tackle the considerable negative health impact of sugary drinks, particularly amongst children.

“Sugary drinks, like sports drinks, soft drinks and energy drinks, are a contributor to tooth decay, weight gain, obesity, and serious long-term health problems. Despite these risks, big beverage brands continue sweet talking our kids into buying their products. Whether that is on their walks to school, while waiting for the bus or even when visiting sports and community centres, the presence of sugary drink marketing is overwhelming, making messages about healthier options more difficult to hear.”

“It’s fantastic to see the Queensland Government showing leadership in banning the promotion of sugary drinks on government-owned advertising spaces across busy, inner-city stations and billboard sites. At a time when 11 million Australians are overweight or obese we are urging remaining states to follow in Queensland’s footsteps.” Mr Sinclair said.

The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance recommends the following actions in addition to the restriction of unhealthy drink marketing to tackle sugary drink consumption:

  • A public education campaign supported by Australian governments to highlight the health impacts of regular sugary drink consumption
  • Comprehensive mandatory restrictions by state governments on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (and increased availability of free water) in schools, government institutions, children's sports and places frequented by children
  • Development of policies by state and local governments to reduce the availability of sugary drinks in workplaces, government institutions, health care settings, sport and recreation facilities and other public places.

About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter, Obesity Policy Coalition, Parents’ Voice, The Public Health Association Australia,  The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage Australians to reduce their consumption. Visit www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au for more information.