This year’s Australian of the Year, Dr James Muecke, is an eye specialist with a clear vision. He wants to change the way the world looks at sugar and the debilitating consequences of diabetes, which include blindness.
Muecke is pushing for Scott Morrison’s government to enact a tax on sugary drinks to help make that a reality.
Such a tax would increase the price of soft drinks, juices and other sugary drinks by around 20%. The money raised could be used to fund health promotion programs around the country.
The evidence backing his calls is strong.
Taxes on sugary drinks work
Several governments around the world have adopted taxes on sugary drinks in recent years. The evidence is clear: they work.
Last year, a summary of 17 studies found health taxes on sugary drinks implemented in Berkeley and other places in the United States, Mexico, Chile, France and Spain reduced both purchases and consumption of sugary drinks.
Reliable evidence from around the world tells us a 10% tax reduces sugary drink intakes by around 10%.