Australia and the international community are facing what is often referred to as an ‘obesity epidemic’. More than one in four Australian adults are obese. Sixty four percent of adults and 27 percent of children aged 5-17 years are classified as overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation has called for governments around the world to use fiscal policy as a mechanism to address obesity. The National Economic Panellists’ views were sought on such a policy response. In particular, panellists were asked to consider the following propositions:
Proposition 1: The best economic policy instrument available to policy makers seeking to address obesity and related health issues in Australia is the introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs).
Proposition 2: The health and non-health benefits from a tax on SSBs are likely to outweigh the possible costs felt elsewhere in the economy.
* Collaborator credits: we would like to thank Professor Emily Lancsar for her assistance in framing this poll question and for her expert overview of the results.
Read the Overview of the Results by Professor Emily Lancsar - Head, Department of Health Services Research & Policy, The Australian National University.