Sugar is back in the headlines and it’s being heavily linked to the widely-publicised obesity crisis that the world is currently facing.
A recent report from the Grattan Institute argues the case for a tax to be imposed on the sale of sugary drinks. The intention being to recoup some of the spiraling costs that obesity is placing on our community.
With obesity costing Aussie taxpayers more that $5.3 billion per year it’s a pretty strong argument too.
The proposed new excise tax would be 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, on all non-alcoholic, water-based drinks that contain added sugar.
The increase of 80 cents on a two-litre bottle of pop would not only raise a whopping $500 million a year, but it would also encourage people to drink more water, and non-sugary drinks, therefore improving their general health.
With obesity costing Aussie taxpayers more that $5.3 billion per year it’s a pretty strong argument
Both the World Health Organisation and World Cancer Foundation are behind the initiative. They believe that a reduction in the consumption of sugary drinks will have a positive effect on cases of obesity and cancer. A far more compelling argument than that of the big drink companies trying to protect their sales figures.
Quite naturally the Australian Beverages Council aren’t quite so supportive. They claim; “There’s no substantial evidence globally that a soft drink tax would have any meaningful impact on improving community health.”
This rather shallow claim has already been proven otherwise by authorities in Mexico introducing a 10% levy on sugary drinks and seeing a subsequent reduction in sales of 12% in 12 months.
This is a very real problem and by making our voice heard we can improve the future for our children.
You can read the full report on the Grattan Institute website and the Obesity Policy Coalition has created material to debunk the sugary drink industry’s lame attempts at derailing any plans for such a tax. Well worth reading.