Diabetes Experts Want Governments to Tax Sugar
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is urging governments around the world to begin taxing sugar as a key strategy in fighting a worldwide obesity and diabetes epidemic.
By 2040, one in 10 adults on the planet is expected to have diabetes; currently the condition costs some countries between 5 and 20 percent of their healthcare budgets.
Type-2 diabetes accounts for nearly 90 percent of diabetes cases and is closely linked to sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Cases are on the rise, particularly in countries where people are shifting to Western diets. China now has the largest number of diabetics in the world.
The IDF includes more than 230 national associations, and its chief executive, Petra Wilson, is urging world leaders to cooperate to fight obesity similar to how they cooperated to act on the 2008 financial crisis.
Mexico, Chile and France have experimented with variations of sugar taxes, but have encountered resistance from the food industry.
Wilson explained, “It is very well established that heavy taxation on tobacco and relentless reinforcement of the message that tobacco is unhealthy has had a very good effect. It is time now we adopted a similar approach with sugar.”