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SUGAR is important for you, but too much of it can be harmful.

This is one of the reasons government has proposed to implement the controversial Sugar Tax bill from 1 April, and why public hearings on the proposed sugar tax on soft drinks, energy drinks and sweetened milk took place in Parliament on Tuesday.

Sugary drinks tax or soda tax is a tax or surcharge designed to reduce consumption of drinks with added sugar. Drinks covered under a soda tax include carbonated drinks, uncarbonated drinks, sports and energy drinks

The aim of this tax is to curb lifestyle diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, obesity and diabetes in the country. According to research done by Wits, a suggested 20% tax on SSBs could possibly reduce obesity in 220 000 adults.

Professor Tolu Oni‚ from UCT’s School of Public Health, told Parliament that South Africa had the second highest consumption of sugar sweetened beverages among kids aged nine to 10 in the world‚ second only to the USA.

Oni said the state had an obligation to protect people, and that they strongly supported the tax.

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