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Rethink Sugary Drinks – Most Satisfying Video Ever Campaign

Cancer Council SA encourages South Australians to make informed health choices by rethinking consumption of sugary drinks – drink water instead.

Below you’ll find a suite of assets for you to share across your own channels. By spreading the word, you will help us reinforce the high sugar content and non-nutritive value of sugary drinks, while helping to encourage South Australians to drink water instead.

Watch the most satisfying video ever:


Campaign summary

Following on from last year’s successful “16 teaspoons” campaign, this year we are highlighting how marketing makes sugary drinks seem much more appealing than what they really are.

A feature of this campaign is the hard-hitting message that sugary drinks are full of crap – both the marketing and the products themselves.

“Crap” noun

Something that is not worth anything, not useful, nonsense, or of bad quality.
(Cambridge Dictionary)

Our Rethink Sugary Drinks campaign is funded through the generous support of the South Australian community.

The campaign launched on 4 December 2022 running through to March 2023 as an integrated campaign across social media, radio and a variety of other channels. The aim is to combat the oversaturation of sugary drink advertising during the summer period—asking South Australians, particularly teenagers and young male adults to rethink that sugary drink and make a healthier choice instead, by drinking more water.

Key messages

Regular consumption of sugary drinks can lead to unhealthy weight gain, increasing your risk of serious health problems, including some cancers. Rethink Sugary Drinks. Choose water instead.

What are sugary drinks?

  • Sugary drinks, or sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) include all non-alcoholic water-based beverages with added sugar such as non-diet soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and cordial.
  • Sugar sweetened beverages are high in kilojoules and their overconsumption leads to weight gain and obesity.
  • These beverages contribute no valuable nutrients and contain large quantities of sugar and ‘empty’ kilojoules.
  • There are around 16 teaspoons of sugar in one 600ml bottle of regular soft drink.

What do the recommendations say?

  • The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting the intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars, including confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.

How many sugary drinks are South Australians consuming?

Recent data from the South Australian Population Health Survey showed in 2021:

  • 14.6 per cent of South Australian adults and 13.7 per cent of children consumed soft drink on an average day.
  • 4.9 per cent of South Australian adults and 1.7 per cent of children consumed half a litre or more of soft drink daily, with males more likely to drink soft drink on an average day compared to females (17.9 per cent compared to 11.6 per cent in adults and 15.7per cent compared to 10.9 per cent in children).
  • Older children aged 15 to 17 years were more likely to consume soft drink on an average day compared to younger children

A 2021 study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health found that between 2016 and 2018, advertising expenditure in Australia for sugary drinks exceeded $129M.

Sugar and cancer

  • Evidence shows that regular consumption of SSBs is associated with long-term weight gain.
  • Being overweight or obese can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. NOTE: it is important to acknowledge that obesity is a complex condition with multiple causes and therefore is not always an easily modifiable risk factor.
  • Those that drink SSBs often do not compensate for the additional energy consumed, and this may lead to weight gain.
  • If consumed from a young age, SSBs can result in an increased preference for sweet food and drinks, displacing nutritious foods from the diet.
  • There is no evidence of a direct association between sugar and an increased cancer risk.
  • However, high consumption of SSBs has found to be one of the main contributing factors to weight gain.

Call to action

Sharable assets

Below you’ll find a suite of assets for you to share across your own channels. By spreading the word, you will help us to encourage South Australians to rethink that sugary drink and choose water instead.

Promote our content on your social media channels by using the campaign assets provided below (click images to save).

Remember to tag us in any posts on social media as follows:
Facebook: @CancerCouncilSA
Twitter: @cancercouncilsa
LinkedIn: @cancer-council-sa
Instagram: @cancercouncil_sa

Social media copy – option 1:

Have you seen the most satisfying video ever?  Cancer Council SA’s new campaign shows how much sugar you’re really drinking. Find out more at

Visual options:

YouTube – 15seconds

YouTube – 30seconds



Social media copy – option 2:

13.7% of South Australian children consume soft drink on an average day. Time to rethink that sugary drink? Find out more –

(right click image to save)

inforgrapic of how much sugar is in sugary drinks

Social media copy – option 3:

A new campaign from Cancer Council SA aims to target teenagers and young males aged 18-29 who are the highest consumers of sugary drinks. Consumption of sugary drinks is good for industry’s profits, but bad for the health of South Australians.

Check out this new campaign and share with your networks and community.

(right click image to save)

Hand holding reusable white drink bottle with text Rethink Sugary Drinks on yellow background



Social media copy – option 4:

Sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay, weight gain and obesity. This summer Cancer Council SA are urging you to rethink sugary drinks and choose water instead. #RethinkSugaryDrinks

YouTube video – 30seconds

Email signature:

Add the below email banner to your email signature.

(right click image to save)

Text reads Time to Rethink that sugary drink. Drink water. Cancer Council SA

Link to:



Infographic - A3 poster - Rethink sugary drinks

Download PDF

Newsletter template

Download PDF

Fact sheet - Rethink sugary drinks at work

Download PDF

Fact sheet - Rethink sugary drinks at home

Download PDF


Why are sugary soft drinks so bad for you?

  • Sugary soft drinks are packed full of ‘empty kilojoules’ which means they contain a lot of sugar but have no nutritional value. A 600ml bottle of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar and about 1000 unnecessary kilojoules.
  • Sugary drinks provide excess kilojoules (energy) which can lead to weight gain and obesity. This is because people do not generally reduce how much they eat to allow for the extra kilojoules in sugary drinks.
  • Carrying excess weight can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

What about fruit juice?

  • We recommend avoiding all sugary drinks that provide unnecessary kilojoules and have no other nutritional value, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks that contain added sugar.
  • Fruit juice, which by law must have more than 95 per cent juice, can offer other nutritional benefits such as vitamin C and other nutrients. A standard serve of fruit juice is 125ml or ½ cup, according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines. If you have juice, limit it to this amount or better still, drink water and eat the whole fruit instead – it’s more filling and has the added benefit of fibre.
  • * Beware – some sugary drinks have added vitamins to appear healthy and some can look like wholesome fruit juice, so just make sure you check the label for added sugars.

How do I know how much sugar is in a drink?

  • All packaged drinks (with the exception of alcohol) have a nutrition information panel on the label that tells you the amounts of certain nutrients (e.g. carbohydrate, sugar, protein, fat) in that product per serve and per 100ml. For example, a 250ml serve of Coca-Cola (a small glass) contains 27g sugar.
  • Remember some packaged drinks contain more than one serve, so you may need to multiply the ‘per serve’ amount provided by the number of serves in the packet.
  • * Remember that the ‘sugars’ listed includes ‘added sugar’ (like that added to soft drinks) and ‘natural sugar’ (like the naturally occurring sugar (lactose) in milk). The main ingredient in sugary soft drink is added sugar. For other products, such as milk or fruit based drinks, also looking at the ingredients list helps determine if sugar has been added to the product or is naturally occurring.
  • Common added sugars found on ingredients list include sugar, cane sugar (or sucrose), fruit puree, fruit juice concentrate, fruit puree concentrate, nectar, reconstituted fruit juice, fructose, fruit syrup and sugar syrup (e.g., glucose syrup, cane syrup ).

Is it okay to have ‘diet’ soft drink instead?

  • Although diet soft drinks do not contain the same level of kilojoules as sugar-sweetened versions, we still recommend choosing water or low fat milk instead. Water is the preferred source for hydration and low fat milk provides important nutrients such as calcium and protein, especially for children and young adults.
  • Diet soft drinks have been associated with overeating and weight gain. It is not clear whether this is because artificial sweeteners stop you feeling full, or whether people feel free to eat more because they have had a diet drink.

Why recommend low fat milk if sugar is the issue?

  • Full fat dairy products, including full cream milk, contribute significant amounts of saturated fat to the Australian diet. Saturated fat is energy dense and is high in kilojoules. Choosing low fat dairy products is a simple way to reduce the amount of saturated fat and excess energy you and your family are eating/drinking.

Learn more

Find out more about sugary drinks

Rethink sugary drinks

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