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Heart Foundation weighs in on sugary drinks debate

05 September 2015

Heart Foundation weighs in on sugary drinks debate

With the 2014 election just weeks away the Heart Foundation says it’s time our politicians took a stand, on behalf of future generations, on the availability and consumption of sugary drinks.

The Heart Foundation is calling on all political parties to support a food and nutrition plan for children to ensure a brighter future for the next generation of Kiwi kids. An integral part of the plan will be the implementation of a tax and, or other regulatory measures on sugary soft drinks.

Public Health Strategic Advisor for the Heart Foundation, Sally Hughes says with a staggering 31% of our children overweight or obese the time for action is now.

“Nutrition professionals recommend limiting ‘added’ sugar intake for health because there is evidence on the effect of ‘added ‘sugar on body weight, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

“There’s also evidence suggesting an association between sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages and risk factors for heart disease, for example Type 2 Diabetes and blood pressure,” she said.

The Foundation’s sugar position also recommends people cut back on foods or drinks that are high in ‘added’ sugar with little nutritional value, such as soft drinks or cordials, cakes and biscuits. As well as lobbying for change and promoting a healthy balanced diet, the Foundation is also encouraging food manufacturers to reformulate their products to include less added sugar and sodium.

“The call for Nutrition Plan for Children and urgent action on sugary drinks is part our ‘Stop the Heartbreak’ political manifesto. It’s one part of the manifesto but perhaps the most important if we are to ensure our children have bright future, free of heart disease and ill health,” she said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that added sugar is limited to 5 - 10% of calories consumed - five percent to protect teeth from decay and 10% to control body weight.

Further information:

Have you ever wondered whether there is one way to eat well? Click here to read a blog post by the Heart Foundation’s Tick Programme Dietician Sarah Goonan.

The Heart Foundation’s National Nutrition Advisor, Delvina Gorton talks sugar following Nigel Latta’s recent TV show on the sweet stuff. Click here to access the blog post.


About the Heart Foundation:
The Heart Foundation is the charity that works to stop New Zealanders dying prematurely from heart disease. It is committed to promoting heart health through funding vital research, promoting heart healthy lifestyles and advancing cardiac care.

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