The case for an Australian tax on sugar sweetened beverages
OPC policy position on the case for an Australian tax on sugar-sweetened
beverages to reduce consumption
Obesity Policy Coalition
Position statement – Sugar-sweetened
Cancer Council Australia recommends that the
Australian Government introduce a targeted health levy on sugar-sweetened
beverages, to effect a price increase of at least 20%. This levy should form
part of a comprehensive approach to reducing sugar-sweetened beverage
consumption, including restrictions on children’s exposure to marketing of
these products, restrictions on their sale in schools, other children’s
settings, and public institutions, as well as effective public education
Cancer Council Australia
International experience of taxes on food and drinks
World Cancer Research Fund NOURISHING framework highlights where governments need to take action to promote healthy diets and reduce overweight and obesity. The framework is accompanied by a regularly updated table which provides an extensive overview of implemented government policy actions from around the world. See under 'U' for international examples of health related food and beverage taxes.
Debunking myths about a sugary drink tax
Rethink Partner the Obesity Policy Coalition debunks the industry's myths with the latest evidence in a short video and summary paper.
sugary drinks tax: recovering the community costs of obesity.
This report calls for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The authors recommend
an excise tax of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar on nonalcoholic, sugary
drinks. This will increase the price of a two-litre bottle of soft drink by
about 80 cents. This tax would raise about $500 million a year, generate a drop
of about 15 per cent in consumption of SSBs and likely result in a small
decrease in obesity rates, as people switch to water and other drinks not
subject to the tax.
Grattan Institute, November 2016
Impact of a Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages on Health and Health Care Costs: A
This paper explores the consequences of an additional 20% tax on
sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on health and health care expenditure in
Australia. Authors examined the potential impact of a 20% valoric tax on SSBs
on total lifetime disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), incidence,
prevalence, and mortality of obesity-related disease, and health care
Veerman, J. Lennert, et al.PloS one11.4 (2016): e0151460. 2016
Opinion on Food-related Obesity Prevention Policy Initiatives
Seventy-one per cent of Austtralian participants surveyed in this study were in
favour of a tax on unhealthy food if funds were used to subsidise healthy food,
and 69% were in favour of a similar tax levied on soft drink only.
Morley, B. et al Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2012 Aug;23(2):86-91
impact of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages according to socio-economic
position: a systematic review of the evidence
This study aimed to clarify the differential impact(s) of a levy on sugary
drinks across socio-economic position (SEP). Based on the available evidence, a
sugary drink levy will deliver similar population benefits across all
socio-economic positions or greater benefits for lower SEP groups. A levy is
shown to be consistently financially regressive, but to a small degree.
Backholer, K., et al. Public Health Nutrition (2016): 1-15
price policies to promote healthier diets
This paper examines the economic theory underpinning price policy as a tool to
protect health, and explores in more depth the available evidence on the use of
taxation and subsidies to influence the purchase and consumption of food.
World Health Organization Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe 2015
purchases from stores in Mexico under the excise tax on sugar sweetened
beverages: observational study
The tax on sugary drinks in Mexico was associated with reductions in purchases
of taxed beverages and increases in purchases of untaxed beverages. Continued
monitoring is needed to understand purchases longer term, potential
substitutions, and health implications.
Colchero A et al.British Medical Journal, November 2015
of sugars and sugar taxation on body weight control: A comprehensive literature
This review of systematic reviews investigates sugar consumption as a risk
factor for obesity. It also explores the link between sugary drink consumption
and artificially sweetened drink consumption and risk of obesity specifically
and goes on to explore the effect of a tax on sugary drink consumption and on
M et al. Obesity, 2016 June 1.
soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health
The authors analysed four different soft drink taxes in Pacific countries and
documented the lessons learnt regarding the process of policy agenda-setting
and implementation. While local social and political context is critically
important in determining policy uptake, these case studies suggest strategies
for health promotion practitioners that can help to improve policy uptake and
Thow, A. M. et al.Health Promotion International, 26 (1), 55–64 2011