Submission to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)

Dietitians Australia is concerned about the FSANZ assessment that voluntary nutrition content claims about carbohydrate and sugar content on food that contains more than 1.15% ABV will not affect the protection of public health and safety of consumers who choose to consume alcoholic beverages. The evidence presented neither supports nor opposes this assessment.

The evidence, however, is clear that all alcohol products increase the risk of chronic diseases namely, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and poor mental health, and contribute to some 5% of all Australian deaths each year, regardless of their sugar or carbohydrate content. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is identified as one of the seven leading factors contributing to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.

Any marketing and promotion of alcohol products in a way that implies a product is ‘healthier’ must not be permitted, with the exception of appropriately identifying zero- or low- alcohol products.

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