Media Statement

10 November 2014  

Australians don’t support another tax on the supermarket trolley latest research shows 

Ipsos research commissioned by the Australian Beverages Council shows around two-thirds of Australians agree that a tax on soft drinks would be ineffective in reducing obesity and the majority of those surveyed were against the introduction of such a tax. 1 

The Council’s CEO Geoff Parker today said any comparison between the US town of Berkeley where a tax was recently passed and Australia was misguided.

“What happened in Berkeley was more about making a political statement than it was about sound public policy. Taxing a particular food or beverage in the diet isn’t an effective way to change behaviour,” Parker said.

“To single out one ingredient as some kind of unique contributor to obesity is misguided and confusing for people. In Australia only 1.8 per cent of the daily intake of kJs comes from soft drinks 2 and in fact the amount of sugar consumed through soft drinks has dropped while obesity continues to rise. 3

“The Ipsos research also shows 74 per cent believe increasing education around healthy diets and lifestyles would be a better way to reduce obesity than a tax on soft drinks. Any health professional calling for such taxes are clearly out of step with the rest of Australia.

“Taxes don’t teach healthy lifestyles; if we want a healthier country, we need better education about exercise and balanced diets,” Parker concluded.

–          Ends –

A summary of the Ipsos Consumer polling can be foundhere.

For more information contact:

Geoff Parker, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council, M: 0407 646 195

Natalie Blake, M: 0421 868 384

REFERENCES

  1. IPSOS MORI consumer research, May 2014,commissioned on behalf of the Australian Beverages Council
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Food and Nutrients, 2011-12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007, viewed 2 August 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.007~2011-12~Main%20Features~Discretionary%20foods~700. These results are based on Day 1 Intake dataonly.*Soft drinks include regular, diet, low kJ.
  3. Levy G.S., Shrapnel W.S. (2014) Quenching Australia’s thirst: a trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011. Nutrition & Dietetics. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12108

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