TORONTO – November 19, 2015 – On behalf of the over 2,000 beverage employees in Alberta, and over 20,000 across Canada, the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) supports the ongoing efforts by Alberta Health to promote healthy lifestyles in Albertans. As an industry we remain leaders in voluntary self-regulation and are committed to proactive initiatives aimed at encouraging Canadians to live healthier lives.
The Alberta Health Trend report dated November 17, 2015 references the World Health Organization’s recommended sugar intake as base mark in their assessment. However, the recommendation of 10% made in the WHO report pertains to the prevention of dental caries, and not to the other health concerns outlined in the Alberta Health Trend report. In addition, consumption of free (i.e. “added”) sugars in Canada is estimated to be 10.7% of total energy intake.
Over the past 10 years the beverage industry has facilitated a reduction in beverage calories consumed by Canadians by 20% through industry-led initiatives such as Clear on Calories and product innovation. Our latest program, Balance Calories, takes our commitment to providing proactive solutions to ambitious new levels, with a goal to further reduce beverage calories by another 20% by 2025.
Despite this reduction in beverage calories in the past ten years, incidents of obesity and diabetes continue to rise in Canada.
Recently Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University addressed the lack of association between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity in the New York Times, saying, “The trend is very unfortunate and very disappointing. Everyone was hoping that with the decline in sugar and soda consumption that we’d start to see a leveling off of adult obesity”.
Obesity and disease prevention is a complex issue that requires a holistic and collaborative approach. The beverage industry is committed to providing all Canadians with information to enable them to make the choices that are best for them and their families. We welcome the opportunity for open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders to better address how we can all play an actionable role in developing workable solutions to these serious health issues.
Please note: Canadian Beverage Association represents the manufacturers for liquid refreshment beverages in Canada, which does not include dairy, hot coffees or teas, or coffee-house beverages.
 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/149782/1/9789241549028_eng.pdf?ua=1 – Page 16, under Remarks “The recommendation to limit free sugars intake to less than 10% of total energy intake is based on moderate quality evidence from observational studies of dental caries.”