Junk food the main culprit for our added sugar addiction


  • Australians consume an average 14 teaspoons of sugar per day
  • More than half of all Australians aged two years and over exceed the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation to limit energy from added sugars to less than 10 per cent of dietary energy
  • The majority (81 per cent) of free sugars[1] were consumed from junk food and drinks

LiveLighter is calling on every West Australian to rethink their love affair with junk food, with new research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) finding that Australians are eating too much added sugar, with the majority coming from junk food and drinks.

As part of the Australian Health Survey 2011-12, these new figures highlight the link between eating too much junk food and the overconsumption of free and added sugars.

LiveLighter Campaign Director, Maria Szybiak, said poor diet is now the leading contributor to the burden of disease in Australia, followed by overweight and obesity.

“At present, Australians are consuming almost two and a half times more added sugar than the limit recommended by the WHO.

“Most of this added sugar comes from junk food and drinks, which makes up more than a third of our diet, and eats up more than half of our food budget,” Ms Szybiak said.

Ms Szybiak said these new figures reinforce LiveLighter’s current advertising campaign reminding West Australians that they are consuming too much heavily promoted junk food, far too often.

“When more than 80 per cent of free sugars are consumed from junk food and drinks, we have to stop and think: what’s really on the menu?” Ms Szybiak said.


Media contact:

For media enquiries please contact Elizabeth Palmer, Communications Manager, on 08 9382 5935 or Elizabeth.Palmer@heartfoundation.org.au.

[1] Added sugars include sucrose, fructose, dextrose, lactose and sugar syrups such as glucose syrup which are added during manufacture of foods or added by the consumer in the preparation of food and beverages. Free sugars are the added sugars from food and beverage processing and preparation as well as honey and the sugar naturally present in fruit juice.