New ad campaign exposes damaging unhealthiness of sugary drinks

Sixteen teaspoons of sugar sounds like an excessive amount of sweetness in just one drink and yet every day, people around Australia are drinking exactly that amount in each and every sugary drink they imbibe.

A new campaign from Rethink Sugary Drink, a grouping of 19 like-minded health and community organisations which includes the ADA, 16 Teaspoons hopes to shock young people particularly into an awareness of just much sugar they are taking in every time they quench their thirst with a sugary drink, and how damaging this habit is for their oral and general health.

It poses the thought-provoking question – “You wouldn’t eat 16 teaspoons of sugar, so why drink it?” – in an advertising campaign which aims to shock people into reconsidering their excessive consumption of these drinks.

The advertisement, which will run across digital channels, begins with a family watching TV, focusing on a young girl about to take a sip from a sugary drink can. She tips the can upside down to reveal a steady stream of sugar spilling out.

The scene quickly turns sinister, with threatening music as the girl watches her whole family hungrily devouring spoonfuls of pure sugar. The girl’s younger sister smiles at her, exposing a mouth full of rotten teeth.

It’s a salient message with Australia’s Oral Health Tracker revealing that just over 70% of children aged 9-13 years and approximately 73% of 14-18-year-olds are consuming too much sugar.

In tandem with the campaign, which will run for three weeks, Rethink Sugary Drink is urging governments to introduce tougher restrictions around the sale and marketing of sugary drinks to young people to tackle high consumption among Aussie teens.

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