OAC should get its facts straight

Published: Mon 10 Nov 2003 10:43 AM
OAC should get its facts straight
The Obesity Action Coalition is attempting to use soft drinks and cola as a scapegoat on which to blame the complex and worrying issue of childhood obesity when in fact the results of the Children’s Nutrition Survey confirm they only account for one part of total beverage intake.
In terms of the frequency of milk and other beverages consumed, the Children’s Nutrition Survey notes the following:
% of children: type of beverage: frequency: 72% non-flavoured milk weekly or daily 59% food drinks (e.g. Milo & Nesquik) weekly 54% powdered fruit drinks weekly 45% soft drinks weekly 43% Coca-Cola or colas weekly 43% juice weekly 32% fruit drink from concentrate or cordial weekly 21% tea weekly
Region Corporate Affairs Manager, Alison Sykora, acknowledges that beverages do contribute to children’s sugar intake but notes that obesity is a complex problem and cannot be blamed on a single factor or product.
“The survey has underlined the need to remember that the energy in all drinks contributes to overall energy intake and needs to be taken into consideration as part of a child’s total diet. We believe that we have a role to play in spreading this message and providing detailed product information. Coca-Cola is doing this via information brochures available via our toll-free number (0800 505 123).”
The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Amatil NZ provide New Zealanders with a choice of more than 100 types and flavours of drinks including soft drinks, diet drinks, juices and juice drinks, waters, energy drinks, sports drinks and cordials.
“As members of the wider community we too are concerned about childhood obesity. The Children’s Nutrition Survey shows that some children are consuming more energy than they need.
“We provide a range of low or no-kilojoule products that are ideally suited to the needs of adults and children who wish to reduce energy intake through their choice of drinks and work with schools to provide the drinks they feel are most appropriate for their students,” said Sykora.
Activity and exercise are a vital part of the ‘energy in-energy out’ balance needed for a healthy body weight. Coca-Cola has led the way in devising a range of programmes as well as supporting several initiatives that encourage active lifestyles among New Zealand children and adults:
At a grassroots level, a community partnership with the National Association of OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation) has resulted in Go Kids! A countrywide physical activity programme available to 75,000 young New Zealanders. In South Auckland, the Get Moving programme is working to encourage children to participate in local sports and recreation courses.
The Pump water brand is now a major sponsor of the NZ Heart Foundation’s Jump Rope for Heart programme that runs in schools across New Zealand and, through the Powerade sports drink brand, we support numerous sporting events around the country.
Coca-Cola has been an All Black sponsor for the past decade, is a key sponsor of the Rugby World Cup and has also supported provincial netball and rugby.

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