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Soft Drink Taxes in Australia - Is it time?

Posted by Tracy Comans on 7 April 2016

A major report published by the United Nations overnight had the dramatic headline that diabetes cases have increased fourfold over the last 25 years; an astonishing increase put down largely to growing consumption of food and beverages high in sugar.

The UK has recently introduced a soft drink tax designed to reduce rates of childhood obesity. This has been introduced after the success of a similar taxes in Mexico, Hungary, France, Chile, Dominca and the Californian city of Berkely. In Mexico, purchases of taxed drinks have declined over the past two years (up to 12%) with higher reductions (up to 17%) in poorer households.

Australia following the lead of other countries to investigate a sugar tax in the short term has two chances: none and Buckley's and Buckley just left town. In 2013 we sought to investigate the use of taxation to reduce childhood obesity through a grant from the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), the agency whose remit was to research policy around reducing obesity and alcohol and tobacco harm. The purpose of doing this research was to be able to collect evidence in order to provide informed debate on the use of food and drink taxation in health policy in Australia something you might think policy makers would welcome.

However......... Read More

Tracy ComansAuthor: Tracy Comans
About: Tracy Comans is an Associate Professor with the CAHE, Griffith University, and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service Australia. Her research interests centre on developing economic models to synthesise costs and outcomes of health care interventions and leading and developing health services research with a particular focus on allied health.
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Tags: Obesity

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