Soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks: they’re packed full of sugar, heavily promoted to kids, easy to buy and often cheaper than water and milk.

We’re seeing a disturbing trend where obesity rates have doubled in very young children (2-5 year olds) over the last 20 years.

This World Health Organisation recommends consuming no more than six teaspoons of added sugar in an entire day. A 375ml can of Coke has 10 teaspoons, and a Sprite has 13.

Most sugary drinks have absolutely zero nutritional value. They don’t fill you up, and they’re extremely high in kilojoules: a recipe for weight gain and obesity. And obesity is a risk for type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke and 13 types of cancer.

 Coke is plugged as sexy and fun, a Slurpee costs just a dollar (cheaper than most bottled water), and sports drinks are positioned as the ideal workout fuel.

It’s not fair to blame Australia’s obesity epidemic on people failing to make the right choices, when Big Beverage uses its massive marketing budgets to entice and manipulate consumer choice.

(Courtesy SMH)