From April 2017, a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) will be introduced in South Africa to help reduce excessive sugar intake in the South African population. ADSA acknowledges that many South Africans are at a greater health risk due to the high consumption of free/added sugars, and is in support of the proposed taxation of SSBs. Further, it is ADSA’s position that there is a need for multiple additional interventions across multiple sectors to improve the population’s diet, address undernutrition and protect against overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases
It is ADSA’s view that, while a tax on SSBs has the potential to reduce the consumption of free/added sugars and improve obesity, a tax on SSBs must be viewed as only one piece of the puzzle to address the complex problem of obesity in South Africa, and the other forms of malnutrition. Education around healthy choices and creating an enabling environment to make those choices easier for the public will still need to be a priority for all South Africans. In addition to reducing the consumption of SSBs to prevent obesity and promote long-term health, ADSA continues to recommend a healthy diet which includes whole grains, fruist, vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy oils, proteins such as lean meats and seafood, and a reduced intake of processed meats and salt, accompanied by regular physical activity.
To read ADSA’s full position statement on the proposed taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages in South Africa, go to http://www.adsa.org.za/AboutUs/PoliciesandPositionStatements.aspx.
Catherine Day, President ADSA