Health experts advise imposing additional tax on sugary drinks

Health experts advise imposing additional tax on sugary drinks

The speakers at the workshop emphasized the benefits of imposing additional taxes on items that have serious health consequences, particularly sugary drinks.

They argued that such taxation would not only generate additional revenue but would also reduce medical expenditures and improve the health of the general public.

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They suggested that increasing taxes on sugary drinks could be a viable way to generate significant revenue and decrease the burden of medical costs associated with diseases caused by the consumption of these drinks.

The media session was organized by the Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) to highlight the gaps in current policies regarding sugary drinks and propose ways to move forward.

The experts stated that increasing taxes on sugary drinks would not significantly affect the average person as they are not essential items and their consumption only contributes to the burden of diseases and hospital expenses.

Pakistan ranks third highest in the world with more than 33 million people suffering from diabetes. The annual cost of managing diabetes has increased to USD 2,640 million in Pakistan.

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The speakers at the workshop highlighted that sugary drinks are one of the primary causes of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

The media, health professionals, and every section of society are raising their voices to reduce the consumption of these harmful drinks.

The experts argued that increasing taxes on all types of sugary drinks, including carbonated beverages, energy drinks, juices, iced tea, squashes, and syrups, could have significant positive outcomes.

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They also emphasized that unsweetened milk and water should not be taxed. The suggested policy intervention does not cost anything to the government, can reduce disease burden and hospital expenditure, and increase revenue.

In summary, the speakers at the workshop advocated for increasing taxes on sugary drinks to reduce medical expenditures and improve the health of the masses.

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They suggested that such a policy could be a triple win for the government, as it does not cost anything, helps reduce disease burden and hospital expenditure, and generates additional revenue.

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