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Tax sugary drinks to fight obesity: World Health Organization

December 19, 2016
soda tax obesity

Photo courtesy Pixabay

 
Revenge is sweet.
 
To fight global obesity and diabetes epidemics, the World Health Organization urged governments to raise taxes on sugary drinks. Sodas, sports drinks and even 100% fruit juices lead to both conditions. The concept mirrors taxing cigarettes to curb smoking.
 
In its “Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases” report, the U.N. health agency noted that boosting prices by 20% cuts consumption by the same rate. Downing fewer sugary drinks is a key way to prevent weight gain and chronic diseases like diabetes.
 
Obesity more than doubled around the world between 1980 and 2014, according to WHO. 11% of men and 15% of women — a whopping 500 million people — are obese. The U.S. has the highest rate of obesity by population. About 422 million adults around the globe have diabetes.
 
WHO guidelines recommend that sugar consumption should be less than 50 grams, or 12 teaspoons of sugar, for adults — and tariffs could help. “We are now in a place where we can say there is enough evidence and we encourage countries to put an effective tax policy in place.” Temo Waqanivalu, coordinator at WHO’s department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion, reported.

Article courtesy of Joe Dziemianowicz for NY Daily News.