High consumption of soft drinks and other sugary drinks are associated with a number of health problems, including overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and dental caries. In Australia, soft drinks are the most commonly consumed sugary beverage and have been singled out for specific attention as a target of obesity prevention programs. The evidence linking soft drinks consumption to overweight and obesity is now strong.
Nearly two years ago, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin ordered two departments to give urgent advice about how to encourage people in the remote areas to consume less soft drink. One of the policy responses has been to install water bubblers in Indigenous communities.
PHAIWA together with Diabetes WA will embark on a project to investigate the extent of the soft drink consumption problems amongst Indigenous peoples and identify additional policy solutions.