Cancer Council Queensland has today welcomed a call from the Grattan Institute recommending a tax on sugary drinks, to help reduce the burden of obesity across the State.
The proposed sugary drink tax would add 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar to all non-alcoholic, water-based drinks that contain added sugar.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Nicole Border urged health authorities and the community to work together to limit the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.
“We would welcome action by Federal and State Governments to examine the range of opportunities available to arrest Australia’s burgeoning obesity crisis,” Ms Border said.
“Introducing a tax on sugary drinks would help deter Queenslanders from consuming unhealthy drinks, and encourage a healthier diet.
“The $500M raised in revenue from the proposed tax could also be injected back into public health programs aimed at preventing obesity and supporting healthy lifestyles.
“Queensland has the second highest rate of obesity nationally – around 26 per cent of Queensland children are overweight or obese, and 64 per cent of adults are overweight or obese*.
“Being overweight or obese increases the risk of a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers.
“Drinking just one can of soft drink per day can contribute to weight gain of nearly seven kilograms in a year, weighing heavy on the current obesity crisis.
“One 600ml bottle of a soft drink, sports drink, or energy drink contains up to 16 teaspoons of sugar and over 1000 kilojoules.
“The World Health Organisation recommends limiting sugar consumption from both food and drinks to no more than six teaspoons a day for optimum health.”
Ms Border said more needed to be done to ensure Queensland children also lived healthy lives, reducing their risk of a range of chronic diseases, including cancer, as they age.
“It’s crucial for children to enjoy a well-balanced diet – they should drink plenty of water and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages including sports drinks, soft drinks, cordial and iced tea,” Ms Border said.
“Regular exercise and a healthy low-sugar diet is key to maintaining health and happiness.
“At least one-third of all cancers and a range of other chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes including eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight.”
Cancer Council recommends all Queenslanders drink water or unflavoured low-fat milk for optimum health.
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