Taxing sugar to combat health crisis
PARIS - Agence France-PresseSugar should be identified alongside alcohol and tobacco as a health danger, and governments should tax sweetened drinks and food as part of their efforts to combat it.
So says a commentary, published on Feb. 2 in the journal Nature as part of a widening debate among doctors and policymakers about food fiscality and health.
Around 35 million people die each year of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes and a wave of obesity is unfurling from rich countries to developing economies, say three US academics who authored the piece.
Tobacco and alcohol are already regulated by governments to protect public health, “but one of the primary culprits behind this worldwide health crisis (is) unchecked,” they say.
A levy on added sugars would help meet the growing costs of meeting sugar-related health problems and discourage consumption, they suggest.
Consumption of sugar worldwide has tripled in the past 50 years, the commentary said.