The World Health Organization has already urged us to cut back on sugar, limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of our daily calories.
So, how might policymakers get people to follow this advice? In a new report, the WHO is urging governments around the world to tax soda and other sugary drinks.
In its report, the World Health Organization points to systematic reviews of policies aimed at improving diet and preventing lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. "The evidence was strongest and most consistent for the effectiveness of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes in the range of 20-50% in reducing consumption," the WHO's meta-review concludes.
Dr. Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, says that "consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes."
"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," Bettcher was quoted as saying in a WHO release on the report.