Chronic diseases are huge contributors to the burden on our health system.
Sugary drinks – and in particular those which have little or no nutritional value – fuel this problem.
These drinks are making us sick.
The AMA estimates that if no action is taken to stem the obesity crisis, by 2025 taxpayers will have footed a further $29.5 billion (over four years) for the direct healthcare costs of obesity and the associated chronic diseases.
A systematic review of worldwide costing studies estimated that people living with obesity have medical costs that are approximately 30 per cent greater than their healthy weight peers.
If we considered even a modest tax, and just on sugary drinks with no nutritional value – 20 per cent on the average supermarket sugary drink – over a 25 year period we’d have 16,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, 4,400 fewer cases of heart disease and 1,100 fewer cases of stroke.
It could save lives and save millions of dollars in healthcare costs at the same time.
We estimate the tax would generate about $814 million annually – which we believe could be spent on other preventative health activities.
The main aim however is to drive down consumption of these drinks with high sugar content as opposed to raising revenue.
Turns out, if it’s for sugary drinks, they do!
Surveys have consistently shown majority support for a tax on sugary drinks, and support grows even further if the tax funds initiatives to tackle obesity – just like the one we are proposing.
In fact, a nationally representative survey undertaken in 2017 found 60 per cent of Australians support a tax on sugary drinks. This increased to 77 per cent support if the proceeds were used to fund obesity prevention.
They don’t think people would support a policy to lessen the impact sugary drinks have on our health and health system!
The only way we can convince them, is by telling them and for that we need you!