A study published in the journal PLOS Medicine shows that consumption of sugary drinks in Chile dropped almost 25% after adopting tough new measures.
The changes included advertising restrictions, warning labels and restricting sugary-laden food and drinks in schools. The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) advocates for similar measures.
“The idea of a levy on sugary drinks is widely talked about, but what this study shows is that other measures can have an impact on sugary drink consumption too,” said NZDA sugary drinks spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.
Dr Beaglehole points out that the NZDA-led Consensus Statement urges for independent monitoring and evaluation of food marketing, particularly in relation to advertising seen by children.
“We are also urging the Ministry of Education to introduce water only policies, as we know the behaviours learnt at school have an important influence on future sugary drink consumption,” says Dr Beaglehole.
“The success also of warning labels tells us that both a teaspoon icon showing the number of teaspoons of sugar in a drink, and warning labels which highlight the tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes risks that high sugar drinks pose can lead to reduced sugary drink consumption and harm,” concludes Dr Beaglehole.