You wouldn't eat 16 teaspoons of sugar-so why drink it? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander responses to the LiveLighter sugary drink campaign

Health Promot J Austr. 2019 Apr;30(2):212-218. doi: 10.1002/hpja.196. Epub 2018 Sep 19.


Issue addressed: The reach and impact of the LiveLighter and Aboriginal sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) advertisements among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults.

Methods: The Aboriginal SSB advertisement launched online in January 2015 and aired on NITV in October/November 2015 as part of the Government-funded LiveLighter campaign. The advertisement was developed in Victoria and featured members of the Victorian Aboriginal community. Another LiveLighter advertisement targeting the general population was broadcast over the same period. Online surveys were completed by 150 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander adults in November/December 2015.

Results: Around half of respondents reported seeing either the Aboriginal (47%) or the LiveLighter (56%) SSB advertisement, and the proportion was significantly greater in Victoria (Aboriginal: 60%, LiveLighter: 66%) than other states/territories (Aboriginal: 29%, LiveLighter: 43%). Compared to the LiveLighter advertisement, the Aboriginal campaign was seen to be more believable, to be more relevant and to have an important message for the Aboriginal community (P < 0.001). Participants from Victoria were significantly more likely to identify the sugar content of regular soft drink, compared with those from other states/territories (68% vs 40%, P < 0.001). Sixty per cent of participants who had seen the Aboriginal SSB advertisement reported they drank less SSBs compared with 48% of those not exposed, though the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Results suggest the Aboriginal advertisement resonated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and impacted knowledge about the sugar content of SSBs, particularly in Victoria where the campaign originated. SO WHAT?: This study highlights the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led health promotion campaigns and tailoring health messages to the local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Sugars / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Victoria
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars