Australian Public Health Coalition Advocates National Tax on SSBs
Calling Berkeley, California, voters’ recent passage of a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) a “victory for the health of Americans,” Australia’s Rethink Sugary Drink Campaign is urging state and local governments to enact comparable measures. The initiative is a partnership among the groups Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia and Heart Foundation (Victoria).
“Australia is among the top 10 countries for per capita consumption of soft drinks,” Cancer Council Australia’s Craig Sinclair said. “Research shows that a retail price increase of around 20 percent would be the most effective in reducing the consumption of these sugar-laden drinks.”
The Campaign asserts that SSB consumption is linked to a variety of weight-related health issues and also champions state and local regulations to (i) limit children’s exposure to SSB marketing; (ii) restrict the sale of SSBs in primary and secondary schools; and (iii) reduce the availability of SSB sales in workplaces, government offices, health care institutions, and other public venues. See Rethink Sugary Drink Campaign Press Release, November 8, 2014.