A new digital campaign is using local Aboriginal role models to warn young people about the negative health effects of regularly downing sugary sports drinks.
Created by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and leading health bodies behind Rethink Sugary Drink, including Cancer Council Australia, the campaign features five Aboriginal sportspeople urging community members to drink water instead.
"Gammin can mean fake or not real in our community," said Jimi Peters from VACCHO.
"So when we say ‘sports drinks are gammin', that's because sports drink companies make their drinks sound really healthy, when actually they're full of sugar. Opt for water instead - it's free, convenient and the best way to hydrate."
Cancer Council Victoria's, Craig Sinclair urged teenagers and young adults to be wary of sports drink marketing.
"When we see well-known athletes drinking sports drinks we think that must be the best way to hydrate and boost energy. However a 600mL sports drink has 9 teaspoons of sugar - much more than the average person needs in a day."
Regular consumption of sports drinks can cause teeth decay and lead to weight gain and obesity. It is well established that obesity is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Australians are big consumers of sugary drinks. In 2006, Australia was among the top 10 countries for per capita consumption of soft drinks.
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