Australia’s Solutions

http://apo.org.au/resource/sugary-drinks-tax-recovering-community-costs-obesity

In this article, it is proposed that a tax on sugary drinks of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, on all non-alcoholic, water-based drinks that contain added sugar should be added in an effort to recoup some of the costs of obesity to the community.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-11/doctors-groups-call-for-sugar-tax-to-tackle-obesity/8012626?pfmredir=sm

The AMA has called for sugar-sweetened drinks should be taxed and obesity renamed a chronic disease

 

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World Trends

World Health Organisation urges all countries to tax sugary drinks

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/11/world-health-organisation-who-countries-tax-sugary-drinks?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Examples of what is happening around the globe

Tesco supermarket chain in the UK cuts sugar in own-brand drinks to avoid sugar tax

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/07/tesco-cuts-sugar-in-own-brand-drinks-to-avoid-sugar-tax?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

 Industry responses

Soft drinks industry lobbies government to dilute sugar tax

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/21/soft-drinks-industry-lobbies-government-dilute-scrap-sugar-tax?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

This article refers to research which reveals that 55% of all the carbonated drinks on sale in shops from Aldi to Waitrose contain more than 30 grams, or seven teaspoons, of sugar – the limit that everyone over the age of 11 is encouraged to stick to. The research was based in Scotland.

Half of fizzy drinks have more sugar in one can than adult daily limit | Life and style | The Guardian from Obesity Action Scot’s Tweet Global heading

Even a developing country like Nuie in the Pacific which has only 1612 people, has included a sugar tax in its budget to try and limit the numbers suffering from diabetes.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/304770/niue-premier-plans-sugar-tax-in-new-budget

This article discusses whether a sugar tax is another nanny state strategy and discusses the age old argument about personal responsibility.

 http://www.smh.com.au/comment/sugar-tax-isnt-a-sign-of-the-nanny-state-its-a-step-in-the-right-direction-20161122-gsun3c.html

This study found that most sugary canned drinks contain more than the average recommended daily allowance for sugar.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/15/most-sugary-fizzy-drinks-bust-daily-sugar-limits-study-finds/

This article discusses how clinicians can start a conversation with their clients about reducing sugary drink consumption.

http://www.doctorportal.com.au/mjainsight/2016/48/child-obesity-sweet-spot-crucial-action/?platform=hootsuite

This article refers to research which shows that children in England consume half their recommended maximum daily intake of sugar at breakfast.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/03/children-consume-half-of-daily-sugar-quota-at-breakfast-alone-study?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Live Lighter Resources

https://livelighter.com.au/SugaryDrinks/Calculator

 

The Centre for Science in the Public Interest

The Centre for Science in the Public Interest sent out the press release below on 5 January 2017 to announce a lawsuit filed on behalf of the non profit Praxis Project.

The complaint says Coca-Cola and its trade association, the American Beverage Association (ABA), mislead the public when they trash the science linking sugary drinks to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the like.

It cites the August 2015 account in the New York Times of Coca-Cola’s funding of the Global Energy Balance Network, which aimed to shift attention from poor diets as a cause of obesity to lack of physical exercise.  Coca-Cola spent $120 million on research from 2010 to 2015 that could cast doubt on evidence linking health risks to sugary drinks.

It also cites quotations from officials of Coca-Cola and the ABA and researchers they fund “making false and deceptive statements about sugar-sweetened drinks.”  For example:

             Coca-Cola’s senior vice president, Katie Bayne, claims that “[t]here is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.

             “Simply put, it is wrong to say beverages cause disease,” the ABA stated in another release.

             One of the scientists funded by Coca-Cola, Dr. Steven Blair, stated that “there is really virtually no compelling evidence” that sugar drinks are linked to the obesity epidemic.

The complaint also charges that Coca-Cola paid dietitians to promote sugary drinks; it quotes one dietitian who suggested that an eight-ounce soda could be a healthy snack, like “packs of almonds.”

It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit fares.  Stay tuned.

Press release – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coca-cola-lawsuit-sue-tobacco-company-tactics-mislead-public-fizzy-drinks-sodas-health-effects-a7511356.html

 

February 2017

CDC has just released two reports on consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, one for adults and one for children and adolescents.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db270.pdf (adults)

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db271.pdf (children)

By way of summary the reports state that for adults ages 20 and over:

  • Half drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day.
  • These contribute 145 calories per day or about 6% of total calories.
  • The amount consumed declines with age.

For kids ages 2 to 19, the report says

  • More than 60% consume at least one a day.
  • Sugary drinks provide an average of 143 calories a day or 7% of total calories.
  • Roughly 10% of kids drink 3 or more per day.
  • Kids ages 12 to 19 drink the most.