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Kiwi Fizzy Drink Consumption Doubles in Five Years

2 May 2006

Kiwi Fizzy Drink Consumption Doubles in Five Years

Major factor in excessive calorie intake amongst school children

The well known New Zealand catch phrase ‘who ate all the pies?’, used to remark on overweight people, could just as easily be ‘who slurped all the fizzy drink?’ according to research which shows consumption of sugary soft drinks is sky rocketing in New Zealand.

The research1, highlighted by Fonterra Brands, shows that consumption of soft drink in New Zealand has doubled over a five year period to around two litres per person per week. This massive increase lifts New Zealand to the eleventh ranked soft-drink consumer per capita in the world.

Soft or fizzy drinks are cited as a major contributing factor to excessive calorie consumption in kiwi school children aged 6-12 years. On average children who drink fizzy drinks take in 244 more calories per day than children who do not.

This could equate to a 5kg weight gain per child over a 12 month period (based on a child consuming 244 more calories than used for energy expenditure each day).

Nutrition Manager for Fonterra Brands, Beverly Watson, says it’s important that children are encouraged to drink healthier substitutes such as low fat, plain or flavoured milk or water.

“As children move into adolescence, the time when they need the most vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, they tend to drink less milk and more sugary soft drinks," says Beverly. “I’m not suggesting they should never have a can of fizzy drink, rather be encouraged to try alternatives.

“A recent US study reported that children who avoid milk tend to be more overweight than children who drink milk. The risk of type two diabetes and weight gain is also increased with excess intake of sugary beverages.

“Milk also provides more nutrients per millilitre than any other natural drink. In particular milk is an important source of calcium and vitamin D.”

A 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey showed that over one quarter (28%) of kiwi kids are calcium deficient. This number is much higher for Pacific Island children (40%).


1. Ludwig DS, Perterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet 2001

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