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Barbados to impose 10% tax on sugary drinks

DBR Staff Writer Published 29 June 2015

The government of Barbados is planning to impose a 10% tax on carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices laced with sweeteners in this year’s budget.

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The move, which comes amidst widespread public objection, is aimed to contribute to the overall good health of Barbadians while helping in reducing the high incidence of non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes.

The Barbado Health Ministry said in a statement: "Taxation is a proven method used in public health to influence positive behavior.

"This was clearly demonstrated in the reduced demand for and consumption of tobacco products after these products were taxed."

The measure would be effective from 1 August.

Defending its move, the government said two out of every three adults in the country are overweight and also points to various international and local studies which talk about the devastating impact of high caloric sugar sweetened beverages on health.

The statement said: "The WHO states that there is increasing concern that consumption of free sugars, particularly in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, may result in both an increase in total caloric intake and reduced intake of more nutrient dense foods, leading to weight gain and increased risk of NCDs."

On this note, the government will invest about $113m annually to address diabetes and high blood pressure issues, reported Associated Press.


Image: The Barbado Government is investing about $113m to reduce diabetes and high blood pressure. Photo: courtesy of artzenter/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.