Junior sport soft drink ban left up to parents

Water isn't the main drink of choice at children's sporting events
Water isn't the main drink of choice at children's sporting events Photo: Getty

Ban soft drink at junior sporting events and the chances are parents will buy sugary drinks elsewhere.

That's the reality of a State Government push to ban soft drink sales, even though it has won widespread support.

Chief health officer, Jeanette Young, has urged parents to call on sports club committees to ban soft drinks at weekend sport, saying consumption after a game reinforces great behaviour with bad nutrition.

Around 27% of Queensland children aged five to 17 are overweight or obese, with the figure expected to rise.

Qld Cancer Council was among the first to back the initiative, with a spokeswoman saying many parents didn't realise the amount of sugar in a standard can of soft drink, and what effect that could have on their child's health.

"One can of soft drink alone can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, and many Queenslanders think it's acceptable to have one can a day - it isn't," she said.

"It's not just soft drinks that are a concern - beverages like energy drinks, fruit drinks, cordial and sports drinks contain large amounts of hidden sugar.

"The consumption of these sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with serious health issues such as weight gain and obesity - which can lead to some cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart problems."

Bli Bli mum Jean Pateman, said while she supported the push for a soft drink ban, it ultimately would all come down to parental choice.


"My kids are both big water drinkers, and at home I'd class soft drink as more of a treat," Ms Pateman said.

"But every parent is different, and it's usually the parents' choice - especially with minors.

"Banning soft drink at sporting clubs won't stop it from happening. Parents will just buy it elsewhere at the supermarkets if they want it."

Ms Pateman's boys Oliver, 12, and Matthew, 16, have been playing football since they were in under-5s and are conscious of nutrition and the importance of keeping hydrated.

"They drink a lot of water and milk and we make a lot of fruit smoothies," she said.

""As long as your kids aren't being silly, the odd soft drink isn't going to hurt anyone.

"It's fine as long as kids have a good balance in life," she said.

Sugar in soft drink cans

Coca-Cola - 40 grams

Fanta - 42 grams

Kirks Lemonade - 41 grams

Pasito - 42 grams

Red Bull - 38 grams

From: Sunshine Coast Daily