In 2010, Australia implemented a number of taxes on unhealthy foods alongside subsidies on fruits and vegetables. A new study in the journal of PLOS medicine reveals that Australia could save AUD $3.4 billion (USD $2.3 billion) in healthcare costs. The greatest impact, the researchers concluded, came from a sugar tax, which could avert 270,000 years of disability. Such results are great news for public health. A sugar tax plan was announced for the UK recently, as well.
However, these beneficial results could come at a cost to industry. For example, Philadelphia saw a 40% decline in soda consumption under a sugar tax. This is great news for sugar consumption, but could be felt by businesses. To minimize the negative effects of these public health strategies, one strategy could be development of healthier products that are clear alternatives for consumers.