2013/02: Should a tax be placed on soft drinks and other sweetened beverages?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
On April 3, 2012, ABC News telecast a report showing a link between soft drink consumption in children and an increased risk of heart disease. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'People are ... consuming much larger amounts of soft drinks than they were five years ago'
Craig Sinclair, Cancer Council Australia public health chair

'Focusing on a single source of kilojoules in the diet hasn't worked in the past and ignores the concept of the total diet'
Geoff Parker, chief executive of the Australian Beverages Council

The issue at a glance
On January 17, 2012, the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia called on the Australian government to set up an inquiry into taxing soft drinks and to place restrictions on the marketing and selling of beverages.
The groups warned that a failure to act now will contribute to a growing public health crisis.
The Australian Beverages Council, representing Australian soft drink manufacturers, has reacted negatively to the proposals, claiming that taxing soft drinks would be misguided and that the industry has already placed voluntary restrictions on its selling practices.