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WHO report: Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption

October 17, 2016 Geneva — Putting a tax on sugary drinks “can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay,” according to a World Health Organization report issued Oct. 11.

The report, “Fiscal Policies For Diet and the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases,” says that fiscal policies “that lead to at least a 20 percent increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products.”

The report includes the results of a 2015 World Health Organization meeting of experts and also an investigation of 11 systematic reviews of the effectiveness of fiscal policy interventions for improving diets and preventing noncommunicable diseases.

Using fiscal policies to reduce sugary drink and food consumption, the need to reduce sugar intake and the increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide are discussed in the report, which is available online.

In November 2015, the ADA House of Delegates formally endorsed the World Health Organization’s recommendation to limit added sugar consumption to less than 10 percent of daily caloric intake.

Furthermore, in January, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture released updated nutritional guidelines that advise limiting the intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories consumed each day.

To view the report online, visit WHO.int and search for the report title.