Cancer Council: Sugary drinks a recipe for disaster

It’s no secret that we shouldn’t be drinking sugary drinks.

As more and more research investigates the ill effects of regular consumption of soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and cordials, Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan says we should be giving it up, or at least reducing the amount we consume on a daily or weekly basis.

“A regular 600ml bottle of soft drink contains no nutritional benefits, but around 16 teaspoons of sugar, and drinking one can of sugary drink a day can lead to 6.5kgs of weight gain in a year,” she said.


“Excess sugar consumption increases the risk of being overweight or obese, which is a key risk factor for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

New research from Cancer Council Victoria and University of Melbourne has also revealed that regardless of body size, drinking sugary soft drinks can increase cancer risk.

According to the study, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, people who regularly drank sugary soft drinks were found to be more at-risk of several types of cancer than those who didn’t.

“With 64 per cent of adults and 26 per cent of children overweight or obese in Queensland it is more important than ever for Queensland people and organisations to rethink sugary drinks, and work towards reducing their presence within workplaces, schools, at community events and in their own daily lives,” Ms McMillan said.

“On an individual level, we can all decrease our intake – carry a water bottle when out and about, so you don’t have to buy a drink if you become thirsty, remove sugary drinks from your house to avoid temptation, swap cordial for water with fresh fruit, and be wary of any health or nutrition claims on the drinks you buy.

“For workplaces, this may include looking at vending machines in your building, lobbying to have them stocked with plain or sparkling water options at eye level, and considering other options if you currently provide sugary soft drinks at functions or meetings.

“When organising events, try working with vendors to increase the price of sugary drinks relative to other options, ensure only water is included in meal deals, or offer incentives for vendors who agree to go sugary drink free, such as extra signage or site space.”

To help Queenslanders make the healthy choice, the easy choice – Queenslanders can get involved with Cancer Council’s free cancer prevention program QUEST, by visiting