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Waitemata DHB's attack on the Beverage Industry

Press release from New Zealand Juice and Beverage Association

27 May 2005

The New Zealand Juice and Beverage Association has expressed its surprise at Waitemata District Health Board’s attack on the beverage industry this week. Association Executive Director Bronwen Bartley said that the beverage industry has long recognised global concern about increased rates of obesity and has been pro-active in developing a wide range of beverage products suited to all dietary needs.

“We appreciate the concern about obesity but it is misleading and very unhelpful to focus blame for a complex issue onto one food category”, says Bartley. “The obesity problem is not caused by drinking sweetened beverages alone, it is a highly complex issue involving the whole diet and the amount of physical activity taken.”

She says the Beverage industry offers a wide range of sugar-free and diet beverages, as well as a huge variety of water brands, many of which are already available in schools. “The industry has taken a particularly responsible stance on obesity and is working hard to meet the goals of the Food Accord. We believe that parents are best able to determine what their own children should consume as all children are different,” says Bartley.

Citing Health Ministry recommendations of 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables a day, Bartley said parents should be aware that a glass of juice can provide one of these servings in a child-friendly way.

The NZ Juice and Beverage Association’s provides advice to parents and consumers on sensible ways to give juice to children through the nutritionist developed Juice Tips on its website.

ENDS

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