Australia is facing an obesity epidemic. Two in three Australians are overweight or obese, and three in four young people are eating too much sugar. The problem is sugary beverages, like soft drinks and energy drinks.
The solution is simple: a tax on sugary drinks. It’s worked in Mexico, where a tax introduced in January 2014 led to a 12% decrease in sugary drink purchases. This can be combined with education programs and support for healthier eating and lifestyle habits.
But the Government disagrees. Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie calls a sugar tax a “nanny state” response. Why? Maybe it's because Coca Cola has five registered lobbyists based in Canberra, including four former government employees. It’s clear who is calling the shots in this debate - and it’s clear that our health and wellbeing is being ignored.
Tell David Gillespie: put a tax on sugary drinks.
Our Government already taxes tobacco and alcohol. This sends a price signal that makes people less likely to use these substances. The same can be done for the sugary drinks that are making too many Australians obese.
But just like with tobacco and alcohol, the industry is going to fight. There’s already evidence that the sugar industry has influenced scientific research to make sugar seem healthier. And with so many Coke lobbyists walking the corridors of Parliament House, it’s clear they’re using their clout to slow down any progress.
That’s where you come in - if David Gillespie hears from enough ordinary Australians, he’ll realise that he can’t afford to keep listening to Coke and the beverage industry.
Sign our petition telling Assistant Minister Gillespie to put a tax on sugary drinks.