Health message should target supermarkets on sugary drinks

Data from the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, a representative random sample of 4800 children aged 2–16 years, suggests supermarkets rather than fast food outlets are key to consumption, the researchers said.

The study, from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, showed alarmingly high rates of consumption of soft drinks (including energy drinks), juices with added sugar, cordial, sports drinks, milkshakes/smoothies and flavoured milk, they said.

More than 77% of sugar-sweetened beverages were bought from supermarkets, with 60% consumed in the home environment.

“Less than 17% of sugary drinks were sourced from the school canteen or a fast food outlet, despite these sources being the focus of many public health recommendations,” lead author Kate Hafekost said.

“These findings suggest that health messages should target supermarkets as the key