Australians drink more than 2 . 4 billion litres of sugary drinks each year. That’s a lot of sugar, and it’s making us sick.
Sugary drinks contain huge amounts of free sugar with almost no nutritional benefit. And they’re fuelling Australia’s growing chronic disease crisis.
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I’m writing to express my concern about the health impacts of sugary soft drinks on Australia’s health, and to support the AMA’s #SicklySweet campaign which calls for immediate government action.
The evidence shows that sugary drinks are fuelling rates of obesity and chronic disease. Rates of obesity in Australia have been increasing for at least 25 years and will continue to increase if we don’t do something about it. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. These diseases are impacting the health and wellbeing of Australians and are a huge burden on our health system.
It’s time Australia implemented a tax on sugary drinks to send a clear signal that these drinks are bad for our health. We would be joining the 60+ countries and jurisdictions who have also implemented a tax, and the revenue raised could be used to fund preventative health initiatives.
Sugary drinks are ticking time bomb for Australia’s health, and it is time we do something about it. Support the implementation of a tax on sugary drinks – it will cost government nothing, reduce the burden on our health system, raise funds for preventative health initiatives, and importantly – it could save lives.