- 93% of Aussie parents want fast food to serve water as the default beverage with kids meals.
- 47% of children aged 2-18 years are consuming a sugary drink on a daily basis.
- Australian fast food restaurants must be held accountable for encouraging the consumption of sugar-laden drinks to children.
- Along with overweight and obesity concerns, sugary drinks also contribute to tooth decay. 40% of Australian children aged 12 have decay in their adult teeth.
- Sugary drinks are the #1 source of sugar in Australian kids’ diets.
- Fast Food serving soft drinks to children is contributing to the overweight and obesity epidemic! imagine a world where the healthy option is the easy option,
If you agree, click here to sign the petition to add your support
Parents’ Voice is calling on fast food restaurants to serve water as the default drink option with kids’ meals. The list includes Chicken Treat, Hungry Jack’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Oporto, Pizza Hut and Red Rooster.
As the healthiest drink option, water should always be served with kids’ meals by default. It’s imperative Fast Food adopts this change to make a positive contribution to the health of our children.
Send a strong message to Fast Food – sign the petition here
An interview with Inspiro dietitians, Dom and Laura.
Why should parents care about what their children are drinking?
For overall health. Good nutrition intake is important for growth and development. Sugar sweetened drinks affect our general health, can cause tooth decay and replace other nutritious drinks such as milk that has calcium for growing bones
The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends not more than 6 tsp for ‘free sugars’ on any given day for good health and to reduce chance of being overweight or obese. With a whopping 6 – 8tsp of sugar in just a small soft drink it’s very easy to have too much sugar.
Note: free sugars are those sugars added to drinks, sauces, snacks not naturally occurring sugar in fruit and vegetables
How much sugar is in kids meal deal drinks?
- A small soft drink has 23-30 grams of sugar (6-8tsp sugar)
- A small Fanta: has 30g, Sprite: has 23g and Coke: has 25g
- A medium soft drink has between 33 and 44g sugar (8-11tsp sugar)
- Fanta: has 44g, Sprite: has 33g and Coke: has 36g
Water has zero grams of sugar
- A small orange juice: has 23g and a medium orange juice has 34g.
- An apple juice pop top has 27 grams (that's a lot for such a small drink!).
What effects can this amount of sugar have?
High sugar products leading to excess weight may increase risk of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Any amount of sugar can lead to tooth decay which can cost parents in excess of $600 dollars each year or worse. Poor teeth health in children can affect eating ability, speech patterns, appearance and if baby teeth are affected it can disrupt the positioning of new permanent teeth .
Will my child be better behaved if they drink water?
Water is the best option for the following reasons:
- Healthy weight (due to reduced intake of excess or unnecessary sugar)
- Healthy teeth (reducing sugar intake is best for teeth)
- Behavioural issues have been linked to soft drink consumption mostly due to the added colors if the person is sensitive to the coloring or preservative
- The mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown; it is suggested that food additives such as artificial colour and flavours may be responsible for behaviour issues rather than the sugar content.
- Studies have shown that the food additives most likely to be affecting children’s behaviour are tartrazine (102), propionate (282), artificial colours (102, 110, 122, 124) and benzoate (211). Some common food additives that may cause problems in sensitive people
- Flavour enhancers – monosodium glutamate (MSG) 621
- Food colourings – tartrazine 102; yellow 2G107; sunset yellow FCF110; cochineal 120
- Preservatives – benzoates 210, 211, 212, 213; nitrates 249, 250, 251, 252; sulphites 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225 and 228
- Artificial sweetener – aspartame 951.
Is 100% juice OK as a substitute or is water better?
Fruit juice is high in sugar and intake should be limited: to less than ½ cup per day of 100% juice (125ml). Fruit should mostly be eaten fresh and raw because of the added benefits of fibre and keeping us fuller.
Fruit juice is a better option than soft drink, however water is still the best option.
Inspiro is a local, non-profit community health service that provides dental, dietetics / nutrition, podiatry, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, diabetes education, counselling, exercise physiology, social and family support services from our Lilydale, Belgrave and Healesville clinics and various community venues.
We have dentists to look at your teeth, health professionals to help get you moving and active, health services for children and older people, support if you are living with ongoing illness, podiatrists to look at your feet, someone to talk to about your mental health, and many other services to help you reach your own health goals.