How far do you have to run to burn off your sugary drink habit?

A new, thought-provoking video launched today shows how much exercise you would need to do to burn off your sugary drink habit –52km of running each week in some cases! 

The video, from the leading health groups behind the Rethink Sugary Drink campaign, is also supported by VicHealth and highlights the significant health problems associated with regular consumption of sugar-laden drinks - including type-2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Cancer Council Australia Public Health Committee Chair, Craig Sinclair, said the average person would have to run 3km to burn off the sugar in just one regular 600ml bottle of soft drink.

“Teenagers and young adults, especially males, are the biggest indulgers when it comes to downing sugary drinks on a regular basis, with some young men aged 19-30 years consuming a staggering 1.5L per day1,” Mr Sinclair said.

“To burn off their sugary drink habit they would have to run more than 52km a week – the same as running from Flinders Street Station in Melbourne to Mornington.”

Meanwhile, the average sugary drink consumer aged 19-30 guzzles around 590ml per day. To burn off their sugary drink habit they would have to run almost 19km each week – the same as running from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne Zoo.

Mr Sinclair said the new video serves as a reminder of the high volume of sugar in these drinks and how regular consumption is bad for our health.

 “Just one 600ml bottle of soft drink contains around 16 teaspoons of sugar. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity increasing your risk of disease. It can also lead to tooth decay,” Mr Sinclair said.

 “With 63% of Australian adults currently overweight or obese2, it is critical that people realise how unhealthy these drinks are and start to choose water instead.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said there was nothing sweet about sugary drinks.

“Sugary drinks are packed full of sugar, which may give you a quick buzz but they deliver excess kilojoules and little or no nutritional value - which you simply cannot outrun,” Ms Rechter said.

“Water on the other hand, is good for us, and as this new video shows, it is natural, free and refreshing. 

“There are so many simple ways to introduce more water into your life – carry around a water bottle with you or mix it up with some berries and mint.” 

The 30 and 60-second versions of the new video will be part of a targeted digital campaign and will feature extensively on social media. 

How much exercise will you need to do to burn off your sugary drink habit?* 

Weekly consumption

Exercise per week required to burn off consumption










7 x 600ml soft drink

2 hrs 20 mins


5 hrs 24 mins


2 hrs 48 mins


7 x 600ml sports drink

1 hr 30 mins


3 hrs 31 mins


1 hr 49 mins


7 x 250ml energy drink

1 hr 4 mins


2 hrs 28 mins


1 hr 17 mins


7 x 500ml iced tea

1 hr 16 mins


2 hrs 56 mins


1 hr 31 mins


* based on 20 year old male, 85kg, 176cm tall. 

For more information including tips to help you cut back on sugary drinks, visit

About Rethink Sugary Drink: Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Australian Dental Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Kidney Health Australia, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy Coalition, National Stroke Foundation, the 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  for more information.

About VicHealth: ( ) 
VicHealth also actively campaigns for the community to drink more water and recently launched the H30 Challenge, a campaign encouraging Victorians to switch SSBs for water for 30 days and feel the positive health benefits (

For media enquiries please contact: 
Olivia Kostandinov 0433 877 403  
Shannon Crane 0432 157 270 

1 Sweetened* beverage consumption, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, Australian Bureau of Statistics *Sweetened beverages include cordials, soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters, energy and electrolyte drinks, fortified waters, and fruit and vegetable drinks that have been sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
2 Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12, Australian Bureau of Statistics