The Australian Medical Association #SicklySweet campaign launched to tackle sugar intake in Australia

AMA has launched a #SicklySweet campaign tackling Australian's consumption of sugary drinks. Pictures: AMA
AMA has launched a #SicklySweet campaign tackling Australian's consumption of sugary drinks. Pictures: AMA

The disturbing effects of soft drink consumption has a new campaign aiming to make Australians think about their sugar intake.

The Australian Medical Association has launched the #SicklySweet campaign, targeting particularly young people who are the major consumers of sugary drinks.

The campaign's visual elements have a design that holds resemblances to particular cola brands.

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said the highly visual campaign turns the tables on sophisticated soft drink ads that are directed at young people each summer.

"It may come as a surprise to many Australians that there are eight to 12 teaspoons of sugar in an average 375ml can of soft drink," Dr Khorshid said.

"It is, however, no surprise these drinks are contributing to obesity and preventable diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers."

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AMA has launched a #SicklySweet campaign tackling Australian's consumption of sugary drinks. Picture: AMA

AMA has launched a #SicklySweet campaign tackling Australian's consumption of sugary drinks. Picture: AMA

The biggest consumers of sugary drinks are young males, while Australians overall drink at least 2.4 billion litres every year, which Dr Khorshid says is "a staggering figure" that means Australians need to think about "the impact it can have on their long-term health".

"Sugary drinks are a ticking time bomb for the nation's health, and we urge Australians to choose water whenever they can," Dr Khorshid said.

"We would like to see Australia go the same way as the UK and introduce a tax on the sugar in the drinks - sending a clear signal to consumers that these drinks are bad for you.

"The overseas experience shows when a tax is placed on sugary drinks there are clear health benefits."

Prominent health experts who have also called for a tax on sugary drinks include eye surgeon and 2020 Australian of the Year Dr James Muecke and sports medicine clinician and Defeat Diabetes founder Dr Peter Brukner, prominent contributors to ACM's Silent Assassin series on the causes and consequences of Australia's type 2 diabetes epidemic.

The #SicklySweet campaign can be accessed on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, with campaign resources such as posters available for schools and workplaces to share.

Campaign details and further information can be found at sicklysweet.com.au.

This story #SicklySweet campaign to tackle sugar intake in Australia first appeared on The Canberra Times.