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ADA NSW welcomes call for tax on sugary drinks

Read ADA NSW’s position statement on a sugar tax here >

9 June 2021 

ADA NSW has welcomed the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) call for a tax on sugary drinks to help safeguard the oral health and overall well-being of millions of Australians. 

“Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases in Australia and worldwide and is the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia,” ADA NSW President Dr Kathleen Matthews said. “Consuming too much sugar is one of the main factors causing tooth decay and other oral health issues. 

“Almost one in two Australian adults and more than two-thirds of Australian children are consuming too much free sugar.  Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are the largest source of added sugars in the Australian diet. Drinking a can of soft drink each day will significantly increase the risk of tooth decay and dental erosion.  

“There can be as much as 17 teaspoons of sugar in an energy drink. You wouldn’t dream of consuming that much sugar in one go – why drink it? 

“ADA NSW has previously called for a tax on SSBs as part of a comprehensive program aimed at educating the public to limit their consumption of such drinks.  A price increase from a 20% levy could provide an additional $400m government revenue and could help fund a public education campaign informing healthier purchasing and dietary habits, especially aimed at children.  

“A levy would reduce consumption of SSBs and help lead to sustained reductions in the incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers, resulting in thousands of healthy life years and millions of dollars saved in healthcare costs. 

“ADA NSW welcomes the AMA’s proposals for a sugar tax and calls on the Federal Government to follow the example of dozens of countries across the globe and implement a sugar tax to help improve health outcomes for all Australians.” 

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