Reducing consumption of free sugars, such as those found in high concentrations in manufactured products such as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and 100% fruit juices, is a global public health priority. This study aimed to measure prevalence of widely available pre-packaged non-alcoholic water-based beverages (carbonated sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, artificially-sweetened sodas, fruit juices (any type), and bottled water) and to comprehensively examine behavioral, environmental, current health, and demographic correlates of consumption. A cross-sectional, nationally-representative population survey of 3430 Australian adults (18+ years) was conducted using computer-assisted telephone (mobile and landline) interviewing. Past week prevalence of pre-packaged drinks containing free sugar was 47.3%; daily prevalence was 13.6%. Of all the pre-packaged drinks assessed, consumption of fruit juices (any type) was the most prevalent (38.8%), followed by bottled water (37.4%), soda (28.9%), artificially-sweetened soda (18.1%), sports drinks (8.1%), and energy drinks (4.2%). Higher soda consumption was associated with males, younger age, socio-economic disadvantage, frequent takeaway food consumption, availability of soda in the home, obesity, and a diagnosis of heart disease or depression. A diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes was associated with increased likelihood of consuming artificially-sweetened sodas and decreased likelihood of consuming sugar-sweetened soda. SSB consumption is prevalent in Australia, especially among young adults and males, foreshadowing continued population weight gain and high burdens of chronic disease. To reduce consumption, Australia must take a comprehensive approach, incorporating policy reform, effective community education, and active promotion of water.
Bibliographical noteThis article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Artificially-sweetened beverages
- Fruit juice
- National survey
- Sugar-sweetened beverages