AUSTRALIA: Debate heats up over added sugars on food labels
Published: 11/10/2017, 2:13:38 PM
Health ministers' phones are expected to start ringing as consumers voice their support for 'added sugar' labelling on food packaging, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Consumer group CHOICE has joined forces with the Australian Dental Association to launch a new national campaign about the impact of sugar on teeth and hope it will lead to food labelling changes.
Telephone numbers for Australia's health ministers have been included in the campaign so consumers can call to show their support for 'added sugar' labelling.
One third of Australian children suffer from tooth decay by the age of six, with dental services costing Australians an estimated A$9.9 billion a year.
CHOICE spokesperson Katinka Day says governments must stop dragging their feet on the issue of added sugar labelling.
"For too long, consumers have been denied basic information on added sugar. It's essential that people can easily tell the difference between foods with naturally occurring sugars, like lactose in yoghurt, and added sugars which have virtually no nutritional benefits," Day said.
Associate Professor Matt Hopcraft, the CEO of the ADA's Victorian branch, says added sugars are a key cause for the high rates of childhood tooth decay.
"Australian teenagers are consuming on average 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, well above the six teaspoons recommended by the World Health Organisation," he said.