Tax sugary drinks to tackle type 2 diabetes, urges Canadian Diabetes Association

Kurt Wood
Tue, 08 Sep 2015
Tax sugary drinks to tackle type 2 diabetes, urges Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) has called for a tax of on sugar-sweetened beverages to combat rising rates of type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the CDA recommends limiting intake of sugar to less than 10 per cent of total daily calorie intake, or roughly 12 teaspoons a day. Sugar-sweetened beverages, they argue, should be replaced with water.

Canada is one of a number of countries to be considering a sugar tax in order to curb rates of type 2 diabetes. Several organisations in the UK have urged the government to tax sugary drinks. In the US, the city of Berkeley in California has introduced a sugar tax, but the idea has yet to be accepted throughout the state. Making sugary drinks more expensive is also considered unfair towards people with type 1 diabetes, who might need sugary drinks to correct low blood glucose levels.

Sugar taxes are controversial measures: critics argue that they target the poor and limit the freedom of businesses and markets. Proponents say that they are necessary measures to force people to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks.

Rates of type 2 diabetes are increasing globally. In Canada, prevalence has increased from 1.3 million to 2.5 million people between 2000 and 2010.

"Evidence-based studies conclusively demonstrate that excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages directly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes," said Rick Blickstead, president and CEO of the CDA.

"The CDA wants diabetes to be part of the national election debate - including a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, establishment of a national pharmacare program, and extension of the disability tax credit of Canadians of all ages living with type 1 diabetes.

"These measures will both help prevent...diabetes and support those with the disease to live to their full potential."
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