Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Fiscal Measures for Health

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Fiscal Measures for Health

Article excerpt

A new WHO report advises countries on how to reduce or prevent noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, by taking measures such as taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and subsidizing fruit and vegetables.

The report entitled Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) calls on countries to consider appropriately designed measures, including taxes and subsidies, to give consumers incentives to choose healthy foods and drinks.

The report, released last month, is based on the findings of a technical meeting held last year at WHO headquarters to address requests from WHO's Member States for guidance on how to design fiscal policies on diet and nutrition to improve their populations health.

Experts at the meeting agreed that there is evidence that appropriately designed taxes on sugar sweetened beverages result in lower consumption of such drinks and would help to reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

Such policies should, therefore, be considered as a key component of a comprehensive strategy for NCD prevention and control, according to the report. …

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