WHO Backs ‘Sugar Tax’
In June 2016, Philadelphia became the first U.S. city to introduce a tax on soda and other sugary drinks. Mexico and Hungary already tax sugary products, and South Africa will begin doing so in 2017. Now, the World Health Organization has added its support to the “sugar tax.”
According to a new report from the WHO, a 20 percent increase in the price of products high in added sugar will help lower consumption of these foods and drinks and improve nutrition overall. Restricting sugars that do not occur naturally—in fruit and milk, for example—can help lower rates of diabetes, obesity, dental cavities, and other health problems.
The report also states that government subsidies for fruits and vegetables can increase consumption of these healthier foods. Taxes or other financial means should only be used on items for which healthier choices are available, according the report.