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Tax booze and fight fat
Courier Mail, Brisbane  by Jackie Sinnerton
12 Dec 2018
General News - Page 17 - 287 words - ID 1049867479 - Photo: No - Type: News Item - Size: 211.00cm2

Obesity report finds alcohol levy is best weapon

A UNIFORM tax of 84 on standard alcoholic drinks is the most cost-effective, affordable and easy weapon against Australia's obesity epidemic, a new report reveals.

The release of the Assessing Cost-Effectiveness of Obesity Prevention Policies in Australia (ACE-Obesity Policy) report has sparked calls for Health Minister Steven Miles to make good on a two-year promise to prioritise legislation required to set up the Healthy Futures Commission so that Queensland can better tackle its obesity scourge.

University of Queensland researchers were involved in the report, which concluded the best method of attack was the alcohol levy, followed by a tax on sugary drinks and a ban on junk food advertising to kids. R The report is the country's most comprehensive analysis of interventions The Australian Medical Association Queensland has been campaigning for a ban on television junk food ads and a soft drinks tax.

The study was undertaken by Deakin University in collaboration with the Global Obesity Centre, UQ, and The George Institute for Global Health.

"Alcohol is high in calories, with a pint of beer almost on par with a chocolate bar, so consumption can have a big impact on daily energy intake," report co-author Associate Professor Gary Sacks said.

"Currently different types of alcohol are all taxed differently but under a uniform volumetric tax all drinks would be taxed based on alcohol content, meaning a significant price increase for some products," he said.

Mr Miles said the Government was working to establish an independent statutory body and health promotion agency and aimed for new legislation to be in place early next year.

Queensland Health is also investing more than $45 million in preventive health programs in 2018-19.

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