Doctor calls for limits on kids buying sugary drinks

Paediatrician says subsidised gym memberships could also help stem the rise in type 2 diabetes in children

A Perth paediatric endocrinologist has called for children to be restricted from buying sweetened drinks and for gym memberships to subsidised in a bid to turn back the tide on type 2 diabetes.

Professor Elizabeth Davis, head of Perth Children’s Hospital's diabetes and endocrinology department, says strategies to stem the increase in children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should include “regulations that restrict the purchase of sugar sweetened beverages by children”.

She also says a sugar tax should be “realistically considered” in the efforts to address the rise in paediatric type 2 diabetes cases.

“The age of diagnosis type 2 diabetes has steadily become younger over several years,” Professor Davis writes in her submission to the WA Parliamentary inquiry into the role of diet in type 2 diabetes.

“Twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes was a disease of adulthood. This is no longer the case.”