Media Statement

15 May, 2015

Tax on soft drinks is a light-weight solution for tackling a bigger issue: Australian Beverages Council hits back at Obesity Policy Coalition

Responding to latest calls from the Obesity Policy Coalition for calls for a tax on soft drinks, Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker said;

“Fundamentally, you have to question what the introduction of a tax on beverages would actually achieve. Soft drinks are not the root cause of obesity. In Australia only 1.8 per cent of the daily intake of kJs for adults comes from soft drinks[1] and in fact the amount of sugar consumed through soft drinks has dropped while obesity continues to rise[2].

“Other countries have repealed similar taxes because they just don’t work. Taxes don’t teach healthy lifestyles; if we want a healthier country, we need better education about exercise and balanced diets.

“Another tax also comes with a broader cost for Australia. The non-alcoholic beverages industry directly employs more than 10,000 people and is a significant contributor to the local economy.

“A tax on soft drinks would do little to reduce obesity and will only hit Australian families where it hurts most – their pockets,”  Mr Parker said.

Ends

For more information contact:

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

Michelle Curley, M: 0416 168 475

REFERENCES

[1] 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 data only.

*Soft drinks include regular, diet, low kJ.

[2] 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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 Tax on soft drinks is a light-weight solution for tackling a bigger issue: Australian Beverages Council hits back at Obesity Policy Coalition

 

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