Fighting obesity: one tax and one community at a time

Event Recording: Australians are getting fatter. More than one in four adults are now classified as obese, up from one in ten in the early 1980s, and about 7 per cent of children are obese. Various interventions have been tried, but the trends are in the wrong direction. In this policy pitch, we explored what can and should be done to address obesity and its effects. Two innovative proposals were presented.

Stephen Duckett, Director of the Health program at Grattan Institute presented on Grattan’s recent proposal to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Such a tax would recover some of those obesity costs that fall on the public purse, and which would also lead to a modest decline in obesity. Professor Anna Peeters, Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University outlined a potential win-win strategy involving healthy food outlets in community settings.