A sugar levy to fund disease prevention

A sugar levy for soft drink’ was the consensus finding emerging from a workshop on community health held in Cairns on 30 May 2016.

The aim would be not just to discourage consumption but to generate funds for preventative health. Current health policy and budgets are geared towards acute care, not to the lifestyle interventions that make acute care unnecessary. The economic cost in terms of lost productivity and the fiscal cost in terms of avoidable expenditure are immense.

The connection between sweet drinks including fruit drinks and childhood obesity is clear. And obesity is so unambiguously a precursor to chronic ill-health that preventing it should be a matter of child protection, based upon society’s duty of care to separate children from known dangers.

A summary has just been posted on the Community Health page.