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Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are no longer a looming public health crisis, but a very real one. By working together, and acting now, we can prevent not only oral health damage, but obesity - a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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Dental Association praises Taranaki dairies for sugary drink stance

Two Taranaki dairies have agreed to not sell sugary drinks to kids in the morning before school starts.


Working with Taranaki Public Health Unit, Stratford's Northern Dairy and CR Dairy in Eltham are helping with a project to reduce tooth decay, and childhood obesity.


The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says this type of leadership is commendable.


“A lot of the work the Association has done is with schools and communities, as this is where the issue of oral health and sugary drinks sits,” said NZDA spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.


“Our recent Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks acknowledges that the negative health impacts of sugary drinks require a wide-range of solutions.


“We support this public health leadership. In fact, point six of our statement specifically mentions the need to limit the sale of sugary drinks in and around schools,” says Dr Beaglehole. 


A consortium of public health groups is backing a NZDA-led 7-point Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks.



Notes to editors:



The seven actions are;

1) Introducing an icon on drinks indicating, in teaspoons, the amount of sugar in each drink. 

2) Independent monitoring and evaluation of food marketing, with an emphasis on marketing that influences children.

3) Urging the government to adopt WHO limit guidelines on sugar.

4) Encouraging public to switch to water by; introducing warning labels highlighting sugary drinks as risk factors for obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, and a nationwide social marketing campaigns such as ‘Switch to Water’.

5) Working with schools and the Ministry of Education to introduce ‘water only’ policies.

6) Introducing local council ‘water only’ policies at council facilities and events.

7) Introduction of a ‘sugary drinks’ tax in line with WHO recommendations.


The Consensus Statement is endorsed by; Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa (ANA), Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Cancer Society of New Zealand, Diabetes New Zealand, Hapai Te Hauora, NZ Dental & Oral Health Therapists Association, NZ Branch of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry, NZ Society of Hospital and Community Dentistry, Te Ao Marama, The Heart Foundation, The Public Health Association, The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

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