What is it about?

An average of one can, per child, per day. That's the finding of our new review into sugary drink consumption of children and teenagers. It equates to 12 teaspoons of sugar per child, per day, just from a single 330ml can of sugary drink. We looked at how many sugary drinks were being consumed by children and teenagers across 51 countries from the Western Pacific, South-East Asia and the Americas. These regions form the 'Pacific Rim', which are the most heavily burdened by dietary-related diseases.

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Why is it important?

National action by governments is required to act on sugary drink consumption, as it's a contributor to the obesity epidemic. Our data can inform action by governments. Collating data across countries can show which countries have the highest consumption of sugary drinks across the world. We found that China and Argentina consumed the most, which was almost twice the average across all countries (326ml).

Perspectives

Data can drive advocacy and action. I hope that this paper provides useful for countries wishing to take action on sugary drink consumption or for advocates pushing for this action. Action to address sugary drink consumption is needed that goes beyond education or any other single policy action. A combined 'system' approach is required to reduce sugary drink consumption. For more on this, see the Nourishing framework in the resources section of this plain-language summary.

Matthew Mclaughlin
University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Population Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A Systematic Review of the Recent Consumption Levels of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Children and Adolescents From the World Health Organization Regions With High Dietary–Related Burden of Disease, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, May 2021, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/10105395211014642.
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