Australians get a lot (just over half) of their free sugar from sugary drinks, and this is highest among young men age 18-24.
One way we can address this is to put a levy on sugary drinks, or on the companies that make those drinks. Sugary drinks companies can then either reduce the amount of sugar in their drink to avoid or minimise the levy, or choose to sell their drink at a higher price than a similar drink with lower sugar content. Australians benefit through reduced sugar content in drinks, reduced sugar consumption and through increased government revenue that can be used to fund health promotion interventions.
Sugary drinks levies or taxes are now common around the world, in place in more than 50 countries. Research in many countries shows reduced consumption following introduction, and also shows they can encourage manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their drinks.
Read more about the case for a health levy on sugar sweetened beverages in Australia.
More than 50 countries across the globe have implemented a levy on sugar sweetened beverages. Read about the effects these taxes have had on consumption and reformulation on the Obesity Evidence Hub.
The design of a health levy on sugar sweetened beverages would need to consider, the type of tax, its target, the tax rate and how to use the funds raised. Public health organisations advocate for revenue from a levy to be put into obesity prevention and for a levy that is high enough to impact manufacturer and purchasing behaviour. Read more on how should an Australian tax on sugar sweetened beverages be designed?.