19 September 2017
INDUSTRY OPPOSES NEW TAX THAT WON’T SOLVE OBESITY CRISIS
Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker today dismissed renewed calls for a soft drinks tax.
“It’s disappointing that in 2017, the best solution being put forward to address a complex problem like obesity is taxing the household shopping,” Mr Parker said.
“A new tax won’t teach healthy habits and it won’t solve the obesity crisis.
“Soft drink taxes haven’t worked anywhere in the world where they have been implemented and have had no discernible impact on public health. In Mexico where a tax on soda has been in place for several years, sales of taxed drinks are now well beyond pre-tax implementation levels. In Berkley California where a tax was recently introduced, total calories from beverages has increased by 24 calories per person since the tax was applied.
“These types of taxes hit everyday households the hardest and at a time when the cost of living is going through the roof with increased power bills, a new tax is the last thing Australians need” said Mr Parker.
“In Australia, the sugar contribution from soft drinks has decreased by 26% per person over a 15 year period. Today, three of the four top selling soft drinks is low or no sugar, and almost half of all water-based beverages sold is also no sugar. What these health experts are hoping to achieve from such a tax is already happening” Mr Parker said.
Leading independent think tank, the McKinsey Global Institute, recently ranked taxation as one of the least effective obesity interventions, with ‘No direct evidence for change in weight or change in consumption or physical activity levels.’ Instead, measures such as reformulation and portion size were deemed to be far more effective.
“A tax is a lightweight fix to a far heavier problem. People need more education about the concept of a healthy diet and the importance of regular physical activity” Mr Parker concluded.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Roberts – 0431 318 893