Save Your Kidneys: Switch from Sugary Drinks

8 March 2017 

An alliance of Australian health and community organisations is urging kids to ditch sugary drinks to help stem the tide of the growing national obesity epidemic, before it starts to impact on the kidney health of a new generation.  

The link between obesity and chronic kidney disease is highlighted in a new report Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease: the Hidden Impact from Kidney Health Australia to mark Kidney Health Week (5–11 March). 

The Rethink Sugary Drink alliance has welcomed the report, which shows chronic kidney disease is a hidden consequence of the obesity epidemic, and reiterated that sugary drinks are a contributor to Australia’s obesity rates.

Craig Sinclair, Chair of the Public Health Committee at Cancer Council Australia, a Rethink Sugary Drink partner, said the data can’t be ignored. 

“This new report is a stark reminder for Australians, particularly young men, to understand how the foods and drinks they are consuming impact upon their weight and overall health,” Mr Sinclair said. 

“Soft drinks are the most frequently consumed sugar-sweetened beverages in Australia, with cola being consumed by 3,745,000 Australians in any given seven-day period”.

Mikaela Stafrace, CEO of Kidney Health Australia, also part of the Rethink Sugary Drink alliance, said the levels of sugar in regular cans and bottles of popular sweetened beverages well exceed the maximum recommended daily intake of six teaspoons.

“We all know that soft drinks, for instance, are high in kilojoules and sugar,” said Ms Stafrace. 

“But many people would be shocked to know that a regular 600mL bottle of soft drink contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar and a regular 375mL can of soft drink contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

“Obesity has a direct and dire impact in the development of chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease, and an indirect but insidious impact through the development of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure – both of which are leading causes of chronic kidney disease.” 

Rethink Sugary Drink is urging all Australians, including children, to cut back on sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and iced teas, and pick healthier, sugar-free, options such as water.

“With 27 per cent of Australian children now overweight or obese, there is likely to be an increase in serious long-term health conditions such as chronic kidney disease in future. It’s time to make a switch and ditch the sugary drinks,” said Ms Stafrace.


The Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance is encouraging local communities to ditch sugary drinks in favour of sugar-free options. Handy tips and recipes for delicious, sugar-free, drink options are available here: 


About Rethink Sugary Drink

Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Australian Dental Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Kidney Health Australia, Nutrition Australia, Obesity Policy Coalition, Stroke Foundation, Parents’ Voice, 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.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Cassandra Bradshaw
National Media and Communications Manager
Kidney Health Australia
T (03) 9674 4313 M 0402 346 197 

Shannon Crane
Media and Communications Adviser
Cancer Council Victoria
M: 0432157270