Coalition of health groups push for sugar tax

The Federal Government is under pressure to introduce a sugar tax as part of a plan developed by health and community groups.

Australia’s leading health organisations believe sugary drinks pose a greater risk to the nation’s health than smoking.

A sugar tax would follow in the footsteps of Britain, Ireland, Belgium, France, Fiji, Mexico and South Africa where sugar taxes have been, or are about to be, applied.


A coalition of 34 high-profile groups is proposing a tough new strategy to make obesity prevention a national priority.

The groups include Obesity Policy Coalition, Cancer Council, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and The Stroke Foundation.

Their plan includes banning advertising for unhealthy food on free-to-air television, between 5:30pm and 9:30pm, to avoid children seeing the adverts.

Rates of obesity continue to climb in Australia, with 63 per cent of adults and 27 per cent of children obese or overweight.

The Australian Obesity Prevention Consensus plan, “Tipping The Scales”, also includes a 20 per cent increase in the price of sugary drinks, developing a national strategy to promote walking, cycling and using public transport and funding a sustained program aimed at educating children about healthy foods.