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Sugary drinks

Beverages are the largest source of free sugars in the Australian diet.

On average, Australians consume the equivalent of around 14 teaspoons of sugar per day (more than the World Health Organization's recommended daily limit), with consumption highest amongst adolescents.

ACDPA members indicated early support for a health levy on sugary drinks in our 2017 position statement on sugar-sweetened beverages. We support a levy as part of a comprehensive approach to decreasing overweight and obesity, and recognise its potential to reduce sugary drink consumption and prevent thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

There is growing support for a levy on sugary drinks from a range of organisations, including:

  • ACDPA members (Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Stroke Foundation, Kidney Health Australia)

  • Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)

  • Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC)

  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)

  • Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA)

  • Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS)

  • Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine

  • Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute


  • Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (representing Australian medical bodies including the Royal Australian College of GPs, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons)

  • Connect Health & Community

  • Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)

  • Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE), Institute For Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)

  • LiveLighter

  • Menzies School of Health Research

  • Monash Centre for Health, Research and Implementation (MCHRI)

  • Melbourne Children’s (which includes The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne)

  • The National Rural Health Alliance Inc

  • Nutrition Australia

  • Obesity Australia

  • Obesity Policy Coalition

  • Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand

  • Parents’ Voice

  • Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)

  • Rethink Sugary Drink

  • Sugar By Half

  • Sugar Free Smiles

  • That Sugar Film

  • The Age

  • The George Institute

  • The Good Foundation

  • The Grattan Institute

  • The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Population & Global Health

  • The University of Sydney

  • Weight Management Code of Practice

  • YMCA

  • Youth Food Movement Australia.

ACDPA's work

ACDPA's 2017 position statement health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages outlines the evidence for a levy on sugary drinks as part of a comprehensive approach to obesity.

Person standing on scales
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