The childhood obesity debate affects and is affected by the soft drinks industry. This briefing provides both an account of current public health thinking on the problems and causes of rising childhood obesity and the views and actions of the soft drinks industry in response to what is undeniably a serious problem in many countries. The report presents a brief overview of public health thinking on childhood obesity, the extent of the problem and its causes, with the aim of assessing how central soft drinks consumption is within the context of the debate and what the public health community expects from the industry. It continues by examining what the industry has done, is doing and will have to do in the future, both at a collective and a company level, to address the problems, engage in the debate and counter negative publicity.