Dr Leah Grout, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Christine Cleghorn*
Grout L, Nghiem N, Cleghorn C. Junk food and sugar-sweetened beverage taxes: Likely to produce numerous benefits in NZ. Public Health Expert Blog. 11 April 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/junk-food-and-sugar-sweetened-beverage-taxes-likely-to-produce-numerous-benefits-in-nz/
Poor diet is a major risk factor for excess weight gain and obesity-related diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, and multiple cancers. In this blog we summarise our recent modelling work that suggests that the implementation of taxes on unhealthy foods and beverages in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) will lead to health gains, health system cost-savings, and reductions in health inequalities.
Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Helen Eyles
There is a lot of focus on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) internationally, due to their role in tooth decay, obesity and diabetes [1-3], their lack of beneficial nutrients, and potential acceptability as an intervention target . Our just published study has shown that an intervention to reduce the size of all single serve SSBs would probably be cost-effective in NZ . In this Blog we elaborate on the issues and consider this intervention in the context of other interventions for addressing NZ’s obesogenic environment.
Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Andrea Teng, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson
Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is an important current policy issue internationally. One suggested strategy is for people to swap to artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs). But there are multiple concerns about potential health risks of ASBs – although limited evidence and hard data. This blog seeks to briefly summarise current evidence, to inform the public, public health practitioners and policy makers.
Professors Tony Blakely, Nick Wilson, Boyd Swinburn and Cliona Ni Mhurchu
The Government has an action plan to tackle childhood obesity, but it lacks a tax on sugary drinks – a strategy for which there is good evidence. A new Treasury Report on soft drink tax price elasticities has just emerged. It has the look of a strategically published document that if and when – during election year – certain politicians need to defend non-action on taxing sugary drinks, they can point to this Report and obfuscate. Indeed, this New Zealand Treasury Report has already been used for this purpose in Australia. We critique this Report in this blog, with a view to preventing its misrepresentation and to encourage a more informed discussion on taxing sugary drinks.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Rob Beaglehole, Prof Tony Blakely
New Zealand has made some progress in removing the sale of sugary drinks from hospitals and schools. In this blog we look at such successes to date and consider what could be done to further reduce availability of these products which are both harming oral health and fuelling the obesity epidemic.