An NZ study published in The Lancet shows different scenarios on consumer taxes for unhealthy products that are worth considering, says the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA).

The study, by leading New Zealand public health experts, models the benefit of taxes on saturated fats, salt and sugar content of food, and looks at the impact of a 20 percent subsidy on fruit and vegetables.

NZDA sugary drinks spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole says the biggest gain in the study was shown for a tax on sugar, above the others. 

“A tax on sugar shows the greatest overall health benefits in this study, and if implemented, we think oral health could be one of the biggest improvements. 

As dentists, we have repeatedly said that sugar consumption must drop if overall oral health is to improve in New Zealand.”  

NZDA has consistently advocated to the Labour-led Coalition government and the previous National-led Coalition government on the benefits of a sugary drinks levy.

“World Health Organization guidelines are absolutely clear. A sugary drinks tax is a must. We endorse this and feel that now is the right time for a serious conversation on this for the long-term dental health of all New Zealanders,” concludes Dr Beaglehole. 

Visit The Lancet for more information on the study.

 

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