AUSTRALIA’S `FREE’ SUGAR FIX
WHAT IS `FREE’ SUGAR?
Added sugars, like syrups and dextrose, put into food and drinks during processing.
Honey as well as the natural sugar found in fruit juices and concentrates are also included.
Australians consumed an average of 105g of sugar a day. Just over half was `free’ sugar, with the balance `intrinsic’ sugar (includes fruit and naturally occurring sugar in milk). Most of the free sugar was added sugars (52g), with seven grams from honey and fruit juice. Total sugar consumption rises throughout childhood, peaking among 14-18 year boys (160g) and between nine and 13 for girls (119g).
Drinks. Soft drinks, mineral water, fruit and vegetable juices. For teenage boys who have the biggest sweet tooths, beverages make up nearly a third of their entire sugar intake. Sweetened drinks make up 15-20 per cent of an adult’s intake. For women 51-70, muffins and cakes are their top sources.
WHY A SUGAR TAX?
Proposed by health advocates who say diet is now the number one cause of death for Australians, the tax would be aimed at soft drinks and sugary beverages. Bereft of any other nutritional value and heavily advertised towards children and youth, health experts think the a beverage tax would be an achievable target.
One in two Australians are breaching the 10 per cent of total dietary intake guideline recommended by the World Health Organisation. This 10 per cent guideline is the weaker standard from the global health agency which has in recent times reset it’s benchmark to the lower standard of five per cent or six teaspoons of sugar a day.