'Step it up' and curb sale of sugary drinks, marketing expert urges Government

A marketing expert is calling on the Government to "step it up" and make changes in order to decrease the sales of sugary drinks.

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Auckland University’s Bodo Lang wants to see labelling changes and taxes on the drinks. Source: Breakfast

The latest Chochrane Review finds that price increases and different labelling options can decrease the sales of sugary drinks that are contributing to the global epidemic of obesity.

Auckland University's Bodo Lang told TVNZ1's Breakfast today: "This is just another study that adds to the evidence that central government need to step up."

"Having improved labelling options, so maybe a star rating or a number rating of some sort. That's a central government issue. The study also showed that increasing the price helps reduce the consumption of sugary beverages," he said.

He said the review also found that community leaders have a part to play.

"If you reduce the amount of sugary drinks sold at marae, in schools and district health boards then obviously what happens is consumptions of those drinks goes down.

"It's a change in mindset.  Hopefully in 10, 15 years we'll look back at sugary drinks the same way we look at smoking now," Mr Lang said.

He gave examples of how to kick that sugar craving in a healthier way.

"You can easily go to diet options because there's a lot of research now that shows that there are no negative impacts of diet drinks on health whatsoever.  No sugar is the best, low sugar is the next best thing.

"The best thing viewers can do is look at the label at the back and see how much sugar is in the whole bottle that you're about to consume," he said.