Food taxes not the cure for obesity says the AFGC

A tax on high fat, sugar and salt foods won’t change overweight and obesity levels in Australia, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said last week. 

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said a 10 per tax on “unhealthy foods” recommended in the Assessing Cost-Effectiveness in Prevention (ACE Prevention) report, collaborated by 130 health experts over five years, was not an effective method for addressing Australia’s obesity problems.

“Taxes on food are simply taxes,” said Ms Carnell. “While there is no tax on fresh food, Australia has had a GST on processed foods for the past decade yet obesity levels have continued to climb.”

“Having a tax on food is clearly not the answer to effectively tackle Australia’s obesity problem – food taxes are regressive as they penalise people who can least afford it.”

Ms Carnell said the key to addressing obesity was to have a preventative health approach involving governments, industry, the community and individuals taking more responsibility for their personal health and of their families.

The ACE Prevention report also called for mandatory limits on salt in bread, margarine and cereals.  However, Ms Carnell said that the food industry was already voluntarily reducing salt in foods in partnership with Government through the Food and Health Dialogue.

Send this to a friend