Should sugary drinks be taken as seriously as tobacco and alcohol?
New Zealand’s obesity crisis and the sugar consumption feeding it looks set to become a hot topic this election year.
A group of health experts want to see sugar taxed and school controls brought back, and now they are taking their radical plan to Parliament.
The average Kiwi man aged 15 to 30 gulps 15 kilograms of sugar, via soft drinks, each year, and children are guzzling sugary drinks like water.
Dr Gerhard Sundborn was so worried he set up the New Zealand Beverage Guidance Panel – a group of public health experts that will this month deliver a bold new proposal, obtained by The Nation, to Parliament. On its wish list is a 20 percent tax on sugar, sugar controls back in schools and more education and marketing about health risks.
But the soft-drink industry says there is no proof in the sugar tax pudding.
The Maori Party, Mana and the Greens are all for a sugar tax; the Government says no way.
Lucy Warhurst looks at how a group of public health experts is now taking its fight against fizzy drinks to Parliament.