Australian Medical Association calls for $814m annual sugar tax on soft drinks

Doctors are urging the federal government to harass Australians with a sugar tax on soft drinks, which bring in $814 million in annual revenue.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is pushing to introduce a 16-cent tax on regular canned soft drinks as a way to address obesity cases and raise money for public health campaigns. It warns that the government risks falling behind other countries.

Its latest report shows that there are 85 jurisdictions around the world that have introduced a sugar tax on soda, and also reveals that 4 in 10 Australian children have cavities in their baby teeth. .

AMA Vice President Dr Danielle McMullen said Australia was becoming the strangest country in the world by not adopting a sugar tax.

“Australians drink 960 Olympic swimming pools worth of sugary drinks each year. We need something to break the addiction and help people choose water instead,” she said. Told.

“We are recommending that the federal government impose a tax of 40 cents for every 100 grams that sugar manufacturers add to drinks, which would increase the price of a can of regular soda by just 16 cents. means that the result.”

Dr. Robbie of Peak said the sugar tax would discourage consumption and help reduce chronic health problems.

“Over 25 years, we estimate that this will reduce 16,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, 4,400 cases of heart disease, and 1,100 cases of stroke,” said Dr. McMullen.

“It would also generate up to $814 million in annual revenue, which should be spent on preventive health measures.”

This tax does not apply to sugar-free soft drinks, fruit juices, cordial or milk-based beverages sweetened with other products.

The AMA has launched a campaign called Sickly Sweet. This highlights that an average 375 ml soft drink contains up to 50 g of sugar, more than double his daily recommended amount.

The study also found that Australians consume more than 2.4 billion liters of sugary drinks annually.

“It is simply baffling why Australia is reluctant to take advantage of this win-win situation, especially when health care costs are in the spotlight. At the same time, it will improve your bottom line,” said Dr. McMullen.

“The AMA will continue to push for a sugary drink tax because it is the right thing to do for Australian health, saving lives and millions of dollars in healthcare costs.”

The report showed that World Health Organization data revealed that sugar taxes had reduced consumption in other countries and forced manufacturers to re-formulate the beverage.

Sugar taxes are in place in countries such as the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, France, South Africa, India and Morocco.

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