CANBERRA: Calls to impose a controversial sugar tax in Australia have been bolstered by a new study led by researchers from the Australian National University. The study, performed in Thailand, suggested that thousands of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented every year by cutting out sugary drinks.
Lead author Keren Papier, from ANU’s Department of Global Health, said the findings could be applicable in Australia. “A reduction in sugary drink consumption is likely to reduce rates of diabetes in Australia,” she said. “Several countries including Mexico, the United States, France and Chile have already started acting on sugary drinks by imposing or committing to a sugar tax. “Findings from the United States and Mexico show that applying the tax has led to a 17 and 21 per cent decrease respectively in the purchase of taxed beverages among low-income households.” The results came from the massive Thai Cohort Study, which analysed a nationwide sample of almost 40,000 adults between the years of 2005 and 2013.