MORE people in the south-west are consuming sugary drinks daily than the state average.
Cancer Council Victoria data showed 15.9 per cent of adults in Corangamite Shire consumed sugary drinks daily, compared to the state average of 11.2 per cent.
About 15 per cent of adults in the Southern Grampians Shire drank a sugary drink daily and 22.5 per cent in the Colac Otway Shire. In Moyne Shire 13.5 per cent of people consumed a sugary drink every day, 11.2 per cent of adults in Glenelg Shire and in Warrnambool 7.5 per cent.
Cancer Council Victoria’s Healthy Lifestyles campaign manager, Alice Bastable, said sugary drinks were the most significant contributor of added sugar into people’s diets.
She said there was strong evidence that sugary drinks contributed to weight gain and being overweight or obese was a risk factor for chronic diseases such as type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that sugary drinks cause cancer but we know that sugary drinks consumed in excess can contribute to overweight and obesity which is a risk factor for cancer,” she said.
“They don’t really have anything nourishing in them like fiber, minerals or vitamins, they’re not very filling so we tend to over consume. There’s not really any place for sugary drinks in a healthy balanced diet.”
Ms Bastable said people often didn’t realise how much sugar was in certain drinks.
“A typical 600ml bottle of coke might have 16 teaspoons of sugar and the average amount of sugar we should be having in our diets is only about six teaspoons,” she said.
Accredited Sports Dietitian Illana Jorgensen from Allansford’s EatFit Nutrition said there were many factors which contributed to the food choices people made. “Education though is always key,” she said. She said according to the federal government resource the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating soft drinks were considered a “sometimes food” rather than an “everyday food.” “There’s no such thing as a never food,” she said. “It’s all about moderation.”
To raise awareness the Cancer Council want to hear from people who have reduced their consumption of sugary drinks. For information on the competition visit www.cancervic.org.au/preventing-cancer/weight/nominate-a-sugary-drink-swapper
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