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WHO Is Calling For A Global 'Sugar Tax'

WHO Is Calling For A Global 'Sugar Tax'
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The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to see a global tax on sugar beverages.

The United Nations' public health arm said on Tuesday it is calling for "global action" to tax sugary drinks, which are linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

In a report titled "Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)," the agency argued that any sort of fiscal policy which results in a 20 percent increase in the price of sugary drinks would yield a proportional reduction in consumption.

Soda and beverage makers add monosaccharides (such as glucose or fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) to their drinks.

Related Link: The Beverages Strike Back; Lawsuit Filed To Block Philly's Sugar Tax

More than one in three adults across the world aged 18 years and older are overweight. An estimated 42 million children aged 5 and under were overweight or obese in 2015, marking an increase of around 11 million during the past 15 years.

"Consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes," says Douglas Bettcher, Ph.D., Director of WHO's Department for the Prevention of NCDs. "If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can reduce suffering and save lives. They can also cut healthcare costs and increase revenues to invest in health services."

Other forms of fiscal policies governments can oversee include subsidizing fresh fruits and vegetables as well as an excise tax on tobacco products.

A Few Sugar Names

  • Cosan Ltd (USA) (NYSE: CZZ).
  • iPath Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return Sm Index ETN (NYSE: SGG).

A Few Beverage Names

  • The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO).
  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS).
  • Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST).
  • National Beverage Corp. (NASDAAQ: FIZZ).
  • PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP).

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