Majority of Australians in favour of junk food taxes

How would you react if the prices of soft drinks and sugary snacks skyrocketed? Apparently the majority of Australians are in favour of putting taxes on junk food if it means getting healthier as a nation and tackling the growing epidemic of obesity.

According to a study by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OBC) - an alignment of leading health organisations such as the Cancer Council Victoria and Vic Health - over 70 per cent of people support the idea of increasing the price of unhealthy foods.

This research was published in the August issue of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.

The OBC's Jane Martin, who co-authored the report, said people were particularly in favour of taxing sugary drinks.

"71 per cent were in favour of increasing the price of unhealthy food to reduce the cost of healthy foods, and 69 per cent were specifically in support of taxing sugary drinks to subsidise healthy foods," Ms Martin said in a statement today (Friday August 3).

Ms Martin went on to say that this study is proof in the pudding that Australians are ready to start making some healthy changes.

"Since 1990, the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has risen from 37 per cent to 61 per cent. This study has found that Australians are aware of the need to make changes that will support healthier eating and are generally supportive of them," she explained.

One small, beneficial alteration you could make to your diet right away is to decrease your sugar intake.

Eating large amounts of sugar is not great for your physical, emotional or even dental health! In fact, sugar is often a source of extra weight gain and can cause fluctuations in your energy levels.

Yet what sort of world would it be without the odd sweet treat? When you cut back on sugar, you don’t have to cut back on sweetness.

Stevia is a natural sweetener and hailed by many as a 'healthy sugar' because it contains very little calories and no aspartame.

Add some stevia extract to your morning coffee, put it in your baking or enjoy it in desserts. It makes a great substitute for sugar, and your health will thank you for it.

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