In October 2021, the Newfoundland and Labrador Government announced legislation to implement a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in September 2022 (1) as part of Promoting a Healthier Newfoundland and Labrador – Budget 2021
. The PEN®
Team is currently reviewing the evidence on the health impact of SSB intake on adults and children, anticipating publication in 2022. In the interim, here is a look at the positions of the partnering PEN countries related to SSB taxation.
In April 2019, Dietitians Australia (DA) posted their position on SSB taxation under their News Room Hot Topics area, Introducing a ‘Sugar-sweetened Beverage Tax’ in Australia: One Small Part of the Solution
. DA supports a tax on SSBs at levels that will impact on consumer behaviour (2).
In February 2016, Dietitians of Canada (DC) released its position on taxation and sugar-sweetened beverages
. It was based on moderate quality evidence, that an excise tax of at least 10-20% be applied to SSBs sold in Canada given the negative impact of these products on the health of the population and the viability of taxation as a means to reduce consumption (3).
Why is this happening?
As per the WHO, the rationale behind taxation and other campaigns to reduce sugar intake is, “Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is high in many parts of the world and is suggestive of poor dietary quality, as sugar-sweetened beverages contain sugars such as sucrose or fructose, often in large amounts, which contribute to the overall energy density of diets. The calories provided by sugar-sweetened beverages have little nutritional value and may not provide the same feeling of fullness that solid food provides. As a result, total energy intake may increase which can lead to unhealthy weight gain” (6).
See Additional Content:
- Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Legislation on Making Better Beverage Choices Being Introduced in the House of Assembly. 2021 Oct 19. Available from: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2021/fin/1019n06/
- Dietitians Australia. Introducing a ‘sugar-sweetened beverage tax’ in Australia: One small part of the solution. 2019. Available from: https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/voice-of-daa/news-room/hot-topics/
- Dietitians of Canada. Taxation and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Position of Dietitians of Canada. Available from: https://www.pennutrition.com/docviewer.aspx?id=11973
- British Dietetic Association. Policy statement. Reducing the consumption of energy from sugary drinks in children. 2018. Available from: https://www.bda.uk.com/uploads/assets/eaf3e152-6a38-48de-b7f276e40e5521cd/policystatementSugaryDrinksConsumption.pdf
- British Dietetic Association. Urgent Action Needed to Reduce Sugar Intake. 2020 Oct 7. Available from: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/urgent-action-needed-to-reduce-sugar-intake.html
- World Health Organization. Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain in adults. 2015. Available from: https://www.who.int/elena/titles/ssbs_adult_weight/en/