The Hon. Greg Hunt
The Health Minister
18 September 2018
Re: Letter in support of Sugar Tax implementation under specific considerations
Obesity has been a significant issue in Australia in recent years. This open letter has been developed to support the sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) tax in Australia, under some serious considerations.
Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) is devoted for the development of a community. The main aim of our NGO is to reduce the global poverty, hunger and disease by the end of 2030. In order to achieve this aim, we have introduced a reconciliation program and community development program. Besides this, providing emergency relief is considered as the major duty of this NGO Therefore, public health is a prime agenda of ABM and the growing health issues in Australia can be interpreted as a clear indication of health policy reform in this country.
In order to maintain the healthy lifestyle in this country, we think that SSB tax implementation is highly necessary. We have reviewed the article by Barrientos-Gutierrez et al. (2017), which identified the significance of lower tax consumption on the effect of Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity and diabetes. It is identified that after the implementation of this tax, almost 2.54% of the reduction in obesity has been identified in Mexico. However, it is found that people belong to the lowest level of socioeconomic status have been able to reduce the obesity level significantly. The United Kingdom has recently developed a childhood obesity strategy which played a critical role in the development of the sugar tax in the country. Henceforth, we recommend that the Government of Australia should also consider this changes for a healthy society.
Another perspective of implementation of sugar taxes has been identified at the initial stage of this policy implementation. It can be said that enterprises and business firms will suffer from a great depress if the SSB gets initiated in this country. However, AMB identified that people of lower class will also face massive issues after the implications of the SSB tax. Therefore, the Government should make few changes in the policy to make it more approachable and versatile for the economic success of this country in greater extent. In this context, AMB will play the role of ‘actor' to perform the following tasks for better implementation of this tax:
1 Identification of problems and issues
2 Prevention of issues
3 Shaping the design of the proposed policy
4 Development of strategies for the better outcome
5 Practising the shape of implementation
Considering the discussed tasks, it can be said that the major problem with the implementation of this policy is to maintain a socio-economic equilibrium balance between people of every layer in that society. It is observed that the food and beverage industry in Australia is able to generate $237 in every week. Therefore, it can be said that due to an implication of SSB tax the sweet beverage and food industry will suffer to some extent. In that context, ABM suggests the Government include some changes that can be helpful for the betterment of the Australian community. Henceforth, specific factors have been considered important for influencing the policy implementation. Following segments highlight those influential factors.
Protecting values and beliefs are the two most important area of interest of ABM. This NGO supports people of all layers and has taken the aim to maintain the social equilibrium. Henceforth, the introduction of SSB policy in Australia will surely play a major role in retaining those values and beliefs. This policy will help people to spend a healthy life, which is the major factor for developing a healthy community. Therefore, the NGO asks the Government to plan appropriately so that no discrepancies can be entertained like the introduction of the fat tax, which is irrelevant to the context.
The Public health act 2010 can be taken into consideration in this context. According to the objectives of this act, it can be said that the major agenda of the Government should promote the public health in a significant way. Nevertheless, the Government's objection to not introduce the sugar taxes in Australia can be interpreted as a violation of this act. Besides this, the health act 2010 also identifies the significance of controlling the risks that are important for the development of the public health. However, this objective is also found violated as sugary beverages and foods effectively affect the public health of this country. In that context, it can be said that the sugar ta policy is significant for the development of the health condition in Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a significant increase in overweight and obesity of people has been observed. In that context, professionals have created a list of guidelines that might help people of this country to remain healthy. Drinking plenty of water and consuming vegetables are preferred as per the report. On the other hand, the sweet based foods create multiple issues in the human body. This might lead to generate specific diseases which need to be eliminated for creating a healthy society. It is found that an increase in chronic issues is another major impact of consuming sugar based foods. It can be said that children with high obesity are vulnerable to major risks such as breathing difficulties, hypertension and resistance in insulin. Besides this, a recent report has identified that overweight and obesity are two critical causes for generating back pain, chronic kidney diseases and much more.
The mind-boggling nature of overweight and corpulence impacted by the interaction between a man's natural and hereditary qualities and the impact of a way of life factors implies an exhaustive and multifaceted methodology is expected to target enhancements and lessen its predominance. It has been recommended that endeavours to handle overweight and heftiness should be fundamental and supported, perceiving that individual and populace health approaches are corresponding, and ought to in a perfect world be incorporated. Henceforth, the introduction of SSB tax is important for the development of the country. Laws and directions focusing on overweight and stoutness incorporate prerequisites to show dietary data on menus, confinements on the advertising of less solid sustenance to youngsters, and the control of health claims on nourishment and beverages.
Broadly, Food Standards Australia New Zealand creates and directs the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which incorporates controls on the supplement substance and health claims that organizations can make on nourishment names and in publicizing. Among the states and domains, a few purviews have menu naming controls. For sufficient, bigger retail sustenance outlets in New South Wales must show kilojoule values by everything on their menus. An assessment of this activity found a huge reduction in kilojoules acquired from 3,355 kJ to 2,836 kJover the assessment time frame. It is also found that multiple initiatives have been taken in Australia for promoting public health.
Intercessions to handle overweight and corpulence additionally occurs in different network settings, for example, schools and work environments. Crosswise over Australia, the National Healthy School Canteens venture started in 2008. It offers direction and preparing to help container supervisors settle on more beneficial nourishment and drink decisions accessible in school flasks. The National Healthy School Canteens rules and assets depend on the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Another national activity is the Healthy Workers venture, which started in 2008 to support solid practices in working environments and diminishes the danger of endless sickness. The activity gives assets to health advancement programs in work environments that attention on a modifiable way of life practices, including expanding physical action and products of the oil consumption. The National Healthy Workers Portal additionally gives bosses data and assets to help make working environments more beneficial.
Among states and regions, a model is the Victorian Government's Achievement Program. It underpins early youth administrations, schools, and working environments in enhancing health and health, using an entire of-setting approach, and concentrating on health need zones, for example, sustenance and physical movement. In the Australian Capital Territory, the Healthy Children's drive gives projects and battles went for youngsters and families over the domain. These projects mean to advance smart dieting, what's more, physical activity in the home, early kid instruction and care administrations, and in schools. Awards have additionally been given to network-based associations, through the Australian Capital Territory Health Promotion Grants Program. The financing bolsters programs that mean to enhance results in overweight and heftiness, and also sound maturing, and lessening smoking and liquor-related mischief (Aihw.gov.au, 2017).
Focusing on the current context of this issue, it can be said that the policy to implement SSB taxes should be given utmost priority. Henceforth, the bottom-up approach might play a critical role in order to assess the implementation of this policy in Australia. According to...