Sugar tax cuts soft drink sales - study

  • 21/04/2017
Soft drink and sugar
Soft drinks contain high levels of obesity-causing sugar (file)

New Zealand dentists have repeated their call for a sugary drinks tax, citing results in a Californian city.

Berkeley became the first United States city to introduce such a measure when it added a 10 percent tax to soft drinks in March 2015.

A paper in the journal PLOS Medicine shows sales have been cut by nearly 10 percent, while bottled water purchases have increased by 16 percent.

New Zealand Dental Association spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole say the results build on a study of Mexico's sugary drinks tax, which also led to a drop in people buying sugary drinks.

"By all means this is not the only measure, but it would be straight forward to introduce," he said.

"The emerging evidence points toward it having an impact - reducing sugary drink consumption, which long-term can reduce the harm that we are seeing from high-sugar drinks."

The New Zealand Government has repeatedly ruled out introducing similar taxes here. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman last year said there was "no evidence" sugar taxes work.

Last year, Dr Beaglehole said he had to remove all of an 18-month-old's teeth, thanks to sugary drinks.

NZN / Newshub.