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ADA NSW President Dr Neil Peppitt comments as the UK sugar tax comes into effect

Sugar-can.jpgTaxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) came into effect in South Africa and the United Kingdom this week, with Ireland to follow suit next month. The governments of those countries deserve praise for their efforts to tackle obesity and other diet-related diseases, including dental caries.

ADA NSW will continue to push for a 20 per cent tax on SSBs, and for the revenue to fund initiatives which promote healthy weight and improve oral health. We’ve all seen the damage sugar does to teeth.

The World Health Organisation recommends adults consume no more than six teaspoons of free sugar per day, but the average Australian consumes twice that. It’s not hard to do, when there are almost nine teaspoons of sugar in a 600 ml bottle of sports drink and seven in a 330ml can of Coke – and Australia is among the 10 nations with the highest per capita consumption of soft drink.

Until political leaders in this country commit to a sugar tax as a way of improving people’s health and reducing healthcare costs, ADA NSW will continue to raise awareness of the connections between consumption of SSBs and poor health. And dentists should keep reminding patients to cut down on sugar and make tap water their usual drink. 

Dr Neil Peppitt
ADA NSW President

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