Less Australians are drinking sweetened drinks according to a report released on 16 October by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

New results from the Australian Health Survey and the 1995 results, show that the proportion of people consuming sweetened drinks decreased from just under half (49%) in 1995 to 42% in 2011-12.

This decrease was driven by a drop in the proportion of consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages from 43% in 1995 to 34% in 2011-12, while over the same time period, the proportion of people consuming artificially sweetened (intense-sweetened) beverages increased from 8% to 10%.

Among sweetened beverage consumers, the amount consumed varies widely. While the median amount of sweetened beverages consumed on the day prior to interview was around the size of a typical can (375 mls), the top 10% highest consumers of sweetened beverages consumed more than one litre on the day, peaking at 1.5 L for males aged 19-30 years.

“Among consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages, the average intake of sugar from these beverages was equivalent to 13 teaspoons, or 54 grams,” said Louise Gates, Director of Health from the ABS. “The average intake for males aged 14-18 years who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages was 16 teaspoons, or 68 grams.”

The 2011–13 Australian Health Survey (AHS) is the largest and most comprehensive health survey ever conducted in Australia, with over 12,000 participants taking part in the survey.

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