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Booze tax the best fat buster
Herald Sun, Melbourne  by Brigid O'Connell
12 Dec 2018
General News - Page 7 - 204 words - ID 1049846218 - Photo: No - Type: News Item - Size: 90.00cm2

A UNIFORM levy on alcohol, where all grog is taxed based on its alcohol content, has topped the list as the most cost-effective way to reduce obesity in Australia.

A new report from a $2.5 million five-year federally funded project, also found that a sugary drinks tax and ban on junk food advertising to kids were cost-effective, affordable and realistic options.

The analysis by Deakin University health economists, to be released today, is the first to show such a tax of 84c per standard drink could have a significant effect on population weight gain.

Lead author and senior research fellow Jaithri Ananthapavan said this was the first time that potential obesity interventions across different sectors had been analysed for their value for money and practicality, and ranked together.

"It makes sense, but we have never evaluated an alcohol tax as an obesity prevention measure," Ms Ananthapavan said. "Alcohol is quite high in calories. If you could curtail alcohol consumption, it could have a big impact on daily energy intake." The project was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council to better prioritise potential pathways to reduce the proportion of Australians now at 60 per cent - who are overweight or obese.

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