Increase taxes on sugary beverages – GPHA urges government

Kumasi, Oct. 26, GNA – The Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA) is advocating for at least a 20 per cent increase in taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages as part of measures to reduce their effects on public health.

They contend that such a move would increase savings on healthcare for the individual and promote the health of Ghanaians, especially children.

Dr Abena Akyeamah Bimpeh, a Member of the Association who made the call, said there was a need for a comprehensive action plan on sugary drinks to restrict the marketing of such products in the interest of public health.

She was speaking during a float on the principal streets of Kumasi to create public awareness of the increasingly negative effects of the consumption of sugary drinks.

She said taxing sugary drinks could lower consumption and reduce obesity, type two diabetes and tooth decay.

“Fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20 per cent increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products,” she noted.

She explained that people who regularly consume one to two cans of sugary drinks a day had a 26 per cent risk of developing type two diabetes than people who rarely consume such drinks.

Dr Bimpeh emphasised that sweetened beverages like soft drinks, and fruit juices with added sugar increased insulin resistance leading to increased heart rate and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Mr James McKeown Amoah, the Project Lead, indicated that obesity was a major factor for heart diseases, cancers and other Non-Communicable Diseases and stressed the need to reduce the consumption of sugary products.

He said sugary products had no nutrients except calories which were inimical to the health of consumers.

Mrs Cynthia Asante, a Dietician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital also advised the public to eat a good balance diet to enhance good health.



Source: Ghana News Agency