Renewed calls for soft drinks to be banned altogether

It’s been hotly debated for many years but now our obesity crisis has reached such a point it seems drastic

It’s been hotly debated for many years but now our obesity crisis has reached such a point it seems drastic changes need to be made, and fast.

According to nutrition professor Marion Nestle, Australians don’t actively advocate against soft drinks, unlike in the US.

Professor Nestle told the ABC health groups in the US lobbied the government to change policies around junk food and soft drink advertising and everyday Australians should be doing the same for their health.

“There are a few groups around but they don’t have a whole lot of support here,” Professor Nestle said.

She told 702 ABC Sydney that Australians don’t try to push the Government for changes to the junk food industry and ask questions about obesity.

“Australia is personally health conscious, not politically health conscious,” she said.

“A lot of people are concerned about being physically fit or concerned about their own health, but that’s not translated to the food environment.

“Everybody knows everybody [in Australia], so people are unwilling to take big risks because it offends people that they are close to.

“They are less willing to stand up for what they think is right”.

So how can we change obesity and health in Australia? One suggestion put forward is to ban soft drinks completely.

Over the weekend, Starts at 60 reported on Coca Cola funding bogus research in Australia, something not everyone was aware of, or if they were, they aren’t willing to do anything about.

Professor Nestle is looking at the food industry’s sponsorship of diet and health, and how beverage companies use “every other trick in the tobacco industry’s playbook” to distort the science related to soft drink consumption.

“[Soft drink companies] fund the industry that gives them the answers they are looking for, and work behind the scenes to lobby community groups,” she said.

“The tobacco industry was famous for that and the soft drinks industry are doing the same thing”.

Recent UK research found a tax on sugary drinks could prevent millions of cases of obesity over the next decade.

Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum calculated that a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks could reduce obesity rates and save health care costs.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver started a viral campaign to launch a sugar tax to cut obesity, and only now are people starting to listen.

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer prevention, said: “The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous. These numbers make it clear why we need to act now before obesity becomes an even greater problem.

“There are a lot of things working against us when it comes to making healthier choices. We’re all bombarded by junk food advertising of cheap foods packed with extra calories and it can be tough for parents to do what’s best for their children.

“The Government has a chance to help reduce the amount of sugar consumed by adults and children and to give future generations the best chance of a healthier life”.

We want to know your thoughts today: Should soft drinks be banned?


  1. Unfortunately I can’t see this happening. Especially if the TTP is ratified. Big business will be able to sue countries that try to ban them. Too much money involved for them not to fight tooth and nail to stop this from happening.

  2. Banning sounds draconian, but I think anything sugar and chemicals laden should be discouraged, maybe a ban on advertising them, plain unattractive packaging like cigarettes maybe

  3. If you are going to ban soft drinks ban beer too there’s sugar in it as well. And I don’t drink either unless I go out to dinner and then I have a lemon squash. All these nutrition police are pains in the butt. There is sugar in fruit some vegetables, they don’t like us eating meat, drinking milk it goes on and on. I eat and drink what I want,

  4. no! why? we have a choice 1. don’t go looking n wanting.
    2. don’t buy.
    3 eat n drink at home.
    4. make a list
    5. buy small n enjoy

    • Yep Lee! This would be for starters. It really hurts when I see the bottom of a family trolley lined with cordial and fizzy drink bottles.And don’t get me started on the pre packaged foods like 2 minute noodles with all those additives especially the MSG’s which cross the brain blood barrier.

    • Catharine Keevill I hurts badly when I see people rolling drunk, I see that as much worse, I get you on the shopping, it’s disgusting 🙂

    • Catharine, this is not so. I have a son who was an ADHD child, (and still, as an adult, sometimes has issues with impulse control), and he never consumed soft drinks, lollies or the other “triggers”. ADHD is a disorder of the neurotransmitters, and, while food, beverages, and environment can exacerbate the symptoms, it is wrong to suggest that soft drink causes the condition

    • True Maureen,I should have been more careful how I phrased that. Sorry. I have an ADHD and all of those chemicals and colourings have an instant effect on him and seriously have to be avoided. So hard at parties when they’re out of your guidance.

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