Australia’s sugary drink tax dispute
Australia's main medical body has renewed calls for a tax on sugary beverages in an attempt to counter obesity.
In a paper released on Sunday, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) proposed sweeping changes in order to decrease obesity, including banning advertising for junk food for children.
chocolate cake/Youtube Gif

chocolate cake/Youtube Gif

"Improving the nutrition and eating habits of Australians must become a priority for all levels of government," said the AMA President Michael Gannon in a media release on Sunday. "The AMA is alarmed by the continued, targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to children."
Gannon previously called for a 20 percent tax on beverages with added sugar in September, a proposal that was rejected by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
In addition to implementing the tax and banning advertising, the AMA also called for increased nutrition education for new and expecting parents. In Gannon’s opinion, healthy eating practices should be promoted in public institutions such as schools, hospitals and care homes for the elderly.
Eating junk food makes a lot of children obese./VCG Photo

Eating junk food makes a lot of children obese./VCG Photo

"Hospitals and other health facilities must provide healthy food options for residents, visitors, and employees," he said. "Vending machines containing sugary drinks and unhealthy food options should be removed from all healthcare settings, and replaced with machines offering only healthy options."
"Water should be the default beverage option, including at fast food restaurants in combination meals where soft drinks are typically provided as the beverage," Gannon added.
However, the Turnbull government emphasized once again that they won’t support such kinds of tax on sugary drinks.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt/AAP Photo

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt/AAP Photo

“We do not support a new tax on sugar to address this issue,” a spokesman for Health Minister Greg Hunt said. “Unlike the Labor party, we don’t believe increasing the family grocery bill at the supermarket is the answer to this challenge.”
Yet, he pointed out that the government has taken action to promote healthy eating habits by backing labeling laws for ingredients and nutritional information and supported voluntary measures to restrict food marketing to children.
Source(s): Xinhua News Agency