According to recent research, reducing sugar content of sweetened drinks could save the nation $8 billion per year and drastically decrease the number of people being affected by obesity-related diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney cancer.
The findings, recently published by Nutrients Journal, have found that modifying the sugar content of energy drinks by 30% could save up to 155,000 lives each year. Obesity is a leading risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, bowel cancer and kidney cancer. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, two-thirds of Australian adults and a quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese.
This new data has reignited the argument for a sugar tax and has also opened up discussions for other possible strategies to tackle the obesity crisis in Australia.
Recent data published in The Lancet showed a worldwide ten-fold increase of obesity rates for those aged between five and 19 years of age, over the past four years.
Increased public education around the importance of keeping active and taking responsibility for your lifestyle and dietary choices will continue to help Australians address our growing waist lines, however, some feel more drastic measures are called for.
As part of the 2017-18 budget, the government announced $15 million over a four-year period, to encourage healthy, more active lifestyles to prevent chronic disease. Compared to the $4.3 billion sugar industry, there are calls to increase this investment before it’s too late for the nation’s health and economy