Renewed calls for a sugar tax

The Federal Australian Dental Association (ADA) congratulates the Australian Medical Association (AMA) for calling for an immediate tax on sugar as one of its pillars to improve the nation’s overall health.

“The ADA has called on the government to introduce a tax on sugary foods and drinks for many years because our 17,000 members see the results of high sugar diets on oral health of Australians every day,” says ADA President, Dr Mark Hutton.

ADA surveys reportedly show that 47% of Australian adults consume much more than the recommended amount of six teaspoons of sugar per day to tooth decay, with many not aware that a 250ml container of soft drink contacts an average 10 teaspoons of sugar alone.

“The best option is for drinks manufacturers to wear the extra cost imposed by a government-mandated sugar tax, and the suggestion that the tax is based on the sugar content of the drink is a good one,” says Dr Hutton adding that “whether that cost then gets passed on to the consumer would depend on the manufacturer”.

“If for consumers, drinking sugary soft drinks is disincentivised by making them more expensive, it will go some way to reducing sugar consumption and its disastrous knock-on effect for oral health and whole of body health,” continues Dr Hutton.

Reportedly, in a speech to the National Press Club on 9 June 2021, the AMA President backed the introduction of a sugar tax as part of the strategy to fight chronic diseases, including obesity and tooth decay.

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