Researchers claim beverage industry capitalises on countries with fewer health regulations


Researchers from Waterloo University and the cardiovascular surgery unit of Guatemala have found that the beverage industry is capitalising on countries with fewer health regulations.

The institutes conducted a survey at Guatemala City high schools and found that a lack of water fountains and high exposure were some of the main reasons for high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among the school children.

The report suggested that the beverage industry is very visible in schools through industry-sponsored food and drink kiosks, advertisements, and donated goods.

Lead author of the report Katelyn Godin said: “Schools represent an important area of influence for adolescents.

"It is clear that being in an environment that encourages students to purchase unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages has an impact on behaviour."

“With limited access to clean drinking water and the very visible presence of the beverage industry in schools, it is clear that being in an environment that encourages students to purchase unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages has an impact on behaviour.”

According to the study, Guatemalan students consume soft drinks 2.5 days each school week, which is double the amount consumed by the students in Canada.

Policies formed by the Canadian Government restrict the sale and availability of sugar-sweetened beverages in schools and limit their marketing.

Godin further added: “The presence of the sugar-sweetened beverage industry in Guatemalan schools suggests that the beverage industry is capitalising on countries that have fewer enforced regulations to protect youth than places such as Canada to access a key subgroup of impressionable consumers."