Why is the soda tax a good idea?

Why is the soda tax a good idea?

Why is the soda tax a good idea?

According to a new Australian study, the tax on soda could bring a significant number of health benefits and savings on health care costs.

Dr. Lennert Veerman, a researcher at the University of Queensland School of Public Health, believes that the tax would raise about $400 million a year and reduce total health care costs by about $29 million a year.

Dr. Veerman explained the study:

Our modelling scoped the effects over the lifetime of adult Australians alive in 2010. We found there would be 800 fewer new Type 2 diabetes cases each year once the tax was introduced. After 25 years, about 1600 fewer deaths would occur each year, with heart disease accounting for the largest share of this postponed mortality. There would be 4400 fewer people with heart disease at that time and 1100 fewer people living with the consequences of stroke. In effect, Australians would enjoy about 170,000 healthy life years that they would not have otherwise.”

In the study, sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) was defined as a non-alcoholic beverage with added sugar, including soda and flavored mineral waters. Some drinks like fruit juices, energy drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and milk-based drinks were excluded from the study.

Dr. Veerman said that savings in healthcare costs would rise during the first 20 years of the tax, then settle down at around $29 million.

Policymakers have cited limited available evidence as a barrier to policy progress in the area of taxes on unhealthy foods, so we expect the detail in our study will be useful to them,” Dr Veerman said.

The greatest effects are likely to be seen in young people, who are the highest sugary drinks consumers,” Veerman added.

More good news on the soda front: recent research has shown that U.S. soda consumption now is at its lowest in 30 years.

Soda sales have dropped for the 11th year in a row.

The message is spreading that soda is a health disaster, and increasing numbers of Americans are ditching it in favor of their health,” said Dr. Mercola, a leading health expert and physician. “This is one more example that we’re winning the war against the junk food and beverage industries.”

But it’s not just that soda consumption decrease every year. The actual rate at which it is decreasing is getting higher. Soft drink sales declined by 1.2 percent in 2015, which is less than the .9 percent in 2014.

The study showing why soda tax is a good idea was published in the journal PLOS One.

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U.S. soda consumption lowest in 30 years.
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REFERENCES:
1. “Sugary Drinks Tax Would Offer Big Benefits.” UQ News. The University of Queensland Australia, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
2. “The Impact of a Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages on Health and Health Care Costs: A Modelling Study.” PLOS ONE. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
3. “U.S. Soda Consumption Drops at Its Lowest Rate.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
4. “Soda Consumption Falls to 30-Year Low In The U.S.” Fortune. N.p., 28 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

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