Might be time for NSW to get on board - should there be a sugar tax?
The LiveLighter Victoria ‘Sugary Drinks’ campaign that highlighted the link between sugary drinks and toxic fat and encouraged Victorians to cut back on sugary drinks was broadcast on television and other supporting media for a period of six weeks. The campaign was evaluated by comparing attitudes and behaviour regarding sugary drinks between 673 adults in Victoria where the LiveLighter campaign aired, and 730 in South Australia where it did not. The campaign evaluation found: The proportion of Victorians who consumed four or more cups of sugary drinks per week had declined from 31% prior to the campaign to 22% at the end of the campaign period. There was no such change in the comparison state of South Australia. Among overweight adults who consumed one or more cups of sugary drink per week, the evaluation found an increase in the proportion who had knowledge of the link between sugary drinks and toxic fat from 60% pre-campaign to 71% post-campaign, but no change among South Australians. “These results provide convincing evidence that these types of public education campaigns are effective in helping reduce obesity and obesity-related illness.” “We believe this research will give governments the confidence to continue to invest in these types of prevention campaigns, knowing they improve health outcomes and also deliver economic value.” Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that just over half (52%) of the added sugar Australians consume comes from beverages, such as soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.1 “Sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar for the Australian population.2 So cutting back on sugary drinks is an easy way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet – and Victorians seem to be very receptive to making these types of simple lifestyle changes,” said Cancer Council Victoria CEO Mr Todd Harper.
1. Australian Health Survey: Consumption of added sugars, 2011-12, released on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website 27 April 2016. 2. Linggang l et al (2016) Dietary intake and food sources of added sugar in the Australian population. British Journal of Nutrition 115, 868-877 Source