Watered down sugar pledge
IT seems incredulous that the closest the Federal Government has come to reducing the Australian population’s sugar intake is to encourage people to try and get fitter rather than target the food manufacturers who largely create the issue from the start.
A recent pledge by the Australian Beverages Council to reduce sugar across its product range was scoffed at by the Australian Dental Association, as the main culprits of high-sugar level drinks would still be available.
A similar tax was introduced in Britain last year where companies have agreed to reduce sugar content in soft drinks by 20 per cent over five years.
There have been similar half-hearted attempts to reduce overall consumption, but particularly young people’s intake of popular takeaway food brands, with major outlets now offering a wider range of healthier alternatives and far clearer labelling on packaging and retail outlets explaining the contents of each meal.
So why the soft glove approach to highsugar drinks?
It wasn’t that long ago there was much made about legislation to prohibit or reduce gambling advertising during live sporting events yet it still seems to go unabated with odds on broadcast matches presented by celebrity sportspeople before during and after televised sporting events.
Surely there is a role for government to protect viewers, particularly young people, against the potential impact such advertising will have on them, normalising what has proven to be a growing ill in modern society.
The same with trying to reduce the intake of food and drinks containing excessively high sugar content.
Federal and state governments have played a heavy hand in trying to reduce smoking yet the war against obesity and gambling seems to have been overlooked.