Cape Town - The proposed sugar tax will only be effective if it is a part of a wider approach to address obesity, according to researchers from the University of the Western Cape School of Public Health (SOPH-UWC).
The researchers have supported the proposed sugar tax and made a submission to the Treasury, recommending a number of things including strengthening national efforts to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and using revenue from sugary drinks to promote health.
Obesity is a contributing factor to the global rise in NCDs and it is expected these diseases will worsen inequalities in longevity and quality of life.
Emeritus professor at SOPH-UWC, David Sanders, said obesity rates had risen in recent years in South Africa and currently more than 45 percent of men and women above the age of 35 were either overweight or obese.
“One of the leading behavioural risk factors is an unhealthy diet that includes high levels of sugar consumption,” said Sanders.