Graphic LiveLighter 'sugary drinks' and 'toxic fat' ads are back, urging to stop the rot

06/10/2016

Heart Foundation ACT and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) NSW have come together to fight the issue of sugary drinks leading to unhealthy weight and tooth decay of adults in the ACT.

Nearly half of ACT adults aged 25 years and over consume sugary drinks every week and nearly 30,000 Canberrans consume them every day.

The World Health Organisation recommends that we should consume no more than 12 teaspoons of added sugar in a day. A regular 600ml bottle of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar – 30 per cent more sugar than the daily recommendation in one drink. “A person drinking just one of these a day will consume more than 23 kilograms of sugar in one year. That’s likely to result in an estimated weight gain of 10.5 kilograms, if no other changes are made, that could lead to a raft of other health issues,” Heart Foundation CEO, Tony Stubbs stated.

ADA Member and local Canberra dentist, Dr Nick Jowitt, says the amount of hidden sugar in food and drinks is alarming. “You wouldn’t eat 16 teaspoons of sugar, so why drink it? Every day in my practice, I see the damage high levels of added sugar can do to dental health and the impact it has on overall health. Stopping drinking sugar is an easy change people can make today – and one that will have immediate health benefits.”

Despite being largely preventable, tooth decay is the most prevalent health problem among Australians and the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia, with an economic impact comparable to heart disease and diabetes. More than 90% of Australian adults experience tooth decay during their life and three out of ten adults have untreated tooth decay.

“The high levels of tooth decay among adults and the impact of poor oral health on overall health is particularly concerning, especially because dental decay is preventable,” said Dr Sabrina Manickam, President of ADA NSW.

Australia is among the top ten countries in the world for per capita consumption of soft drink. Australians are very high consumers of sugary drinks. Frequent consumption of sugar is the main dietary cause of tooth decay. Preventing tooth decay can be as simple as controlling the consumption of sugar food and drinks. “The simplest way to start is to stop drinking sugar and stop the rot. We are urging people to swap soft drink, sports drink and sugar-sweetened juices for water,” Dr Manickam said.

Hard-hitting ‘sugary drinks’ focus TV advertisements showing graphic images of the serious damage being overweight can cause to internal organs will screen across the ACT again from Sunday 16th October 2016 on ACT commercial television, cinema, digital and social media channels.

This is the third phase for LiveLighter, a public health education campaign being delivered by the Heart Foundation ACT, with funding from the ACT Government Healthy Canberra Grant in support of the Healthy Weight Initiative. To find out more or to view the advertisements, visit www.livelighter.com.au.