Discounts promote sale of unhealthy drinks

June 1st, 2009 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 1 (IANS) Discounts are promoting the sale of unhealthy drinks that are rich in fat and sugar, a study has found.
In New Zealand, University of Otago researchers looked at about 1,500 discounts over a month in four supermarkets across Wellington. They found only 15 percent of all the non-alcoholic drinks discounted were classed as ‘healthy’.

“Our study shows healthy drinks are discounted less often than unhealthy drinks. But there are more unhealthy drinks available in supermarkets and this may explain some of the difference,” said study co-author Louise Signal from Otago.

“Given the influence discounts can have on what shoppers purchase, supermarkets could promote healthy options by discounting the products that are nutritious and contain less saturated fat and added sugar,” said Claire Hewat, of the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA).

She said this would encourage shoppers to purchase healthier choices at the supermarket and would be an important step in addressing obesity, said an Otago release.

Beverages classed as ‘healthy’ in the study were water, plain reduced-fat milk and plain

reduced-fat soy beverages. And those in the ‘unhealthy’ group included sweetened carbonated beverages, sports beverages and flavoured waters and cordial.

The study was published in Nutrition & Dietetics.

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