The true price of sugar-sweetened disease: political inertia requires renewed, strategic action

Alessandro Demaio and Alexandra Jones
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00223
Published online: 9 July 2018

Australia can no longer afford to wait for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages

Excess free sugars are a major contributor to diet-related diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) provide a significant source of free sugars while offering no other nutritional benefit, making them a reasonable target for public health action.1,2 Governments worldwide are drawing on growing evidence to implement effective pricing policies for SSBs as one cornerstone of a comprehensive policy response.

  • 1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 EAT Foundation, Oslo, Norway
  • 3 George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


We thank Thomas Goodwin for his support in the research of this article. The views, opinions and positions expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not reflect the views of any third party.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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