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To raise the prices of these unhealthy products and reduce consumption
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its first-ever global tax manual for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Currently, at least 85 countries implement some type of SSB taxation.
The WHO manual highlights the experiences of countries who have successfully implemented the tax, including Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Regular consumption of SSBs, including soft drinks, flavoured milks, energy drinks, vitamin waters, fruit juices and sweetened iced teas, is associated with an increased risk of dental cavities, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and obesity in both children and adults, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Evidence shows that implementing taxes on SSBs increases product prices and reduces demand, resulting in less purchases. A one time global SSB tax increase that raised prices 50% could generate additional revenues of $1.4 trillion over 50 years.
A recent Gallup Poll also found that a majority of people across the United States, Tanzania, Jordan, India, and Colombia supported taxes on SSBs, alcohol and tobacco.
WHO calls on countries to introduce or increase existing SSB taxes to raise the prices of these unhealthy products, lessen demand, and reduce consumption. The manual is a reference guide that provides key considerations and strategies for countries to develop, design, and implement SSB taxes.
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