Water quality may be driving higher consumption of sugary drinks

An Australian National University study has found that poor water quality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is likely behind the high intake of bottled drinks and cordials.

Examining the consumption of sugary drinks among infants and toddlers in these communities, lead author, Dr Katie Thurber (Research School of Population Health), quoted in ANU news, pointed to one likely culprit for this behaviour. 

"Families living in regional and remote settings have expressed concern about the safety and quality of drinking water. 

"This can leave families with no choice but to avoid tap water and instead buy bottled drinks, cordial or other sugary drinks." 

While 50 percent of children, between the ages of zero and three, were found not to have drunk any sugary drinks, largely thanks to factors such as socioeconomic advantage and support from health services, the remaining number were high consumers of cordial (47 percent), soft drink (19 percent) and sweetened tea and coffee (13 percent). 

This pattern of consumption was found to be higher in rural and remote communities than those based in urban centres, and points to the great deal of work that needs to be done to ensure that the affected families are given the same opportunities to make healthy choices, which will in turn bolster their oral and general health, as other Australians. 

For the full story, go to “Poor water quality linked to sugar drink consumption”