WA Community Support For Sugary Drinks Tax


A new survey has found Western Australians want a tax on sugary drinks.

Results from Cancer Council WA’s LiveLighter survey canvassed community views on sugar-sweetened beverages to identify consumer habits and assess support for proposed regulations.

The survey found that 57 per cent of respondents are in favour of taxing sugary drinks.

Further to this, 60 per cent of respondents are in favour of Government restricting the sale and marketing of sugary drinks in government-owned buildings such as hospitals and public recreation centres.

Cancer Council WA’s Cancer Prevention and Research Director Melissa Ledger said there was a clear link between the overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and rates of overweight and obesity.

“We know that sugary drinks have little or no nutritional value and may lead to weight gain, which can increase the risk of a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease and a range of cancers,” Ms Ledger said.

“Reducing obesity requires an integrated approach across different sectors, including improving the availability and access to nutritious food and reducing exposure to marketing of less healthy food options.

“The average can of soft drink contains nine teaspoons of sugar and can undo the benefits of an otherwise healthy diet. This amount of sugar is more than double the daily recommended amount of added sugar for an adult, and we know some people don’t stop at one can.

“Two-thirds of WA adults are overweight or obese, which is an alarming, major public health issue that we must address. We want to work with community and government to find ways to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.”

The Government’s new Healthy Options Policy will come into effect on October 31 restricting the sale of sugary drinks in hospital settings.

“This great step will provide the right environment for people to make better choices about what they consume, and will play an important role in halting our increasing obesity rates.”



Notes on data:

1 Results from LiveLighter’s WA Weekly Surveillance Study, which conducted a cross-sectional survey or WA adults between 9th April and 30th September 2018.

For further information please contact:

Jo Campbell, Cancer Council WA

M: 0411 593 772 E: jcampbell@cancerwa.asn.au

About LiveLighter

LiveLighter® is a public health education campaign which encourages West Australians to lead healthier lives by changing what they eat and drink, and being more active. Delivered by Cancer Council WA, the LiveLighter® campaign is funded by the State Government of Western Australia. For more information visit www.livelighter.com.au

About LiveLighter’s ‘Sugary Drinks’ campaign

LiveLighter’s ‘Sugary Drinks’ campaign, first launched in 2013, urges Western Australians to reduce the number of sugary drinks they consume.

This first phase of the campaign was evaluated by comparing attitudes and behaviours regarding sugary drinks from before to after the campaign.

The results showed that over the campaign period the prevalence of Western Australian adults drinking more than 1 litre of sugary drink per week reduced significantly (reduction from 22 per cent of adults down to 16 per cent),  suggesting the public are receptive to making the simple lifestyle change suggested by the campaign.

Recent tracking of sugary drinks consumption in Western Australia has shown weekly sugary drink consumption has reduced significantly from before the campaign (from 60 per cent to 43 per cent).