Don't Be Sucked In This Summer
Don’t Be Sucked In This Summer
As summer officially starts tomorrow, obesity prevention initiative, LiveLighter®, is warning people to beware the barrage of cheap frozen sugary drinks with the launch of their ‘Don’t Be Sucked In’ campaign.
Bright, colourful and widely available at junk food outlets and petrol stations across the country, you could be forgiven for thinking a $1 frozen drink is a fun, harmless way to treat yourself and your family over summer.
But think again – drinking a slushie every day for the 90 days of summer could lead to a potential weight gain of 3 kilos.
Sugary drinks are high in energy and added sugar – they provide no other nutritional value other than fluid – they’re basically junk food.
It’s also easy to forget that drinks add towards your daily kilojoule intake, which means you can easily drink a lot of kilojoules without knowing it.
World Health Organization guidelines recommend consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
“We know that 7 Eleven stores currently promote a mega frozen sugary drink containing 20 teaspoons of sugar,” Cancer Council WA’s LiveLighter® Campaign Coordinator James Stevens-Cutler said.
“If you had one of those for each day of summer, that’s equivalent to consuming 7 kilos of added sugar, which isn’t great for your health.
“You’re basically slurping your way to weight gain, toxic fat around your vital organs, an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers not to mention tooth decay.”
The onslaught of cheap frozen sugary drink promotions encourages people to enter junk food outlets to buy more junk food - not only increasing the amount of money spent, but also the amount of kilojoules consumed.
“The junk food industry continues to find ways to lure in customers to encourage more eating and drinking of their sugar, fat and salt laden products,” Mr Stevens-Cutler said.
“Consider the motives of frozen sugary drink promos- are you being sucked in to extra kilojoules, sugar and spending? With profit top of mind, the strategy of making junk food cheap and accessible isn’t new.”
From this week, LiveLighter® is tackling the frozen drink frenzy head on, strategically buying ad space on billboards and bus shelters in Perth and regional WA with their #dontbesuckedin campaign.
“Compared to the junk food industry budget, our spending for this campaign is minimal,” Mr Stevens-Cutler said, “yet, if we can place advertisements in key places to remind people of the health risks associated with the consumption of sugary drinks, we may be able to counteract some of its impact.”
Two-thirds of West Australian adults are now overweight or obese with the long-term health costs and pressure on health services set to rise.
“This obesity epidemic can be avoided but, we can’t rely solely on individual decisions,” Mr Stevens-Cutler said, “which is why we’re calling for a level playing field where junk food promotions don’t outweigh healthy options.
“Let’s make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
‘Don’t Be Sucked In’ Key Messages:
- Stop and think when it comes to frozen sugary drinks
- Choose water instead – some fast food outlets will provide water free of charge
- Plan ahead and pack your refreshments at home
- Consider the motives of frozen sugary drink promotions – are you being sucked in to extra kilojoules, sugar and spending?
- For more information on LiveLighter®’s ‘Don’t be Sucked In’ campaign visit the LiveLighter® website.
Notes on data:
1. Results from a LiveLighter® nutrient analysis conducted in November 2018 looking at the sugar content in frozen sugary drinks available from the major junk food outlets in Australia. This was an online survey using nutrient data provided by the companies themselves on their own websites.
For further information and interviews, please contact:
Jo Campbell, Cancer Council WA
M: 0411 593 772 E: email@example.com
LiveLighter® is a public health education campaign which encourages West Australians to lead healthier lives by changing what they eat and drink, and being more active. Delivered by Cancer Council WA, the LiveLighter® campaign is funded by the State Government of Western Australia.