Media Statement

14 April, 2016

Soft drink tax will not solve complex issue of obesity in Australia

Responding to research from the Obesity Policy Coalition and Queensland University on the benefits of a local soft drink tax, Australian Beverages Council CEO, Geoff Parker said;

“It is ignorant to implement a tax on soft drinks alone, when this category contributes just 1.7 per cent of the daily intake of kilojoules for Australian adults.1  In addition, nearly one in two drinks consumed is a non-sugar variety (42 per cent volume share in 2011) compared to 30 per cent in 1997. 2

Research from the McKinsey Global Institute found that a 10 per cent tax on high-sugar products would be one of the least effective measures in combatting obesity, ranking 14th of 17 intervention methods, with portion control having the highest estimated impact with the most cost effective measures. 3

There is also no substantial evidence globally that a soft drink tax has a meaningful impact on obesity rates. Denmark has introduced and subsequently repealed a ‘fat’ tax within 18 months, due to its blatant ineffectiveness. When implemented in Mexico, the tax only reduced dietary intake by six calories.

As an industry, we advocate education, moderation and a common sense approach. Beverage consumption is a personal choice and soft drink can safely maintain a place within a balanced diet. It is not however, a source for revenue raising.”


For more information contact:

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


[1]   Secondary analysis of non-alcoholic beverage consumption from the Australian National Health Survey, (commissioned by the Australian Beverages Council and undertaken by the CSIRO), 2015



2    Quenching Australia’s thirst: A trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011, Gina S. LEVY and William S. SHRAPNEL – Nutrition & Dietetics 2014


3   Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis – McKinsey Global Institute

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