A tax on sugared soft drinks has been called for in New Zealand following a move in New York City to limit sales of the fizzy beverages.
Auckland businessman Tony Falkenstein is calling for Government to tax sugared soft drink, saying it is a major contributor to childhood obesity.
“There’s more and more scientific evidence that we’ve got an addiction” said Falkenstein, the chief executive officer at Just Water.
“[A tax] would give consumers the time to get rid of the addiction and manufacturers time to take down the level of sugar in their products.”
Earlier this week, New York City announced a plan to limit the sale of most sugar-sweetened beverages to 473 millilitres, with failure to do so resulting in a fine for vendors.
France has also imposed a ‘fat tax’ on soft drinks, adding a three to six Euro cent (4 to 9 NZ cents) increase per litre.
One in three Kiwi children are obese or overweight, which some blame on the 500 million litres of soft drink consumed I the country each year.
However, New Zealand Juice and Beverage executive director Kerry Tyack said fizzy drinks are not the sole cause of obesity and that they can be drunk responsibly.
“Somebody can go and purchase these products, drink it responsibly, on occasion as a treat, and not suffer any health effects.”
Tyack said putting a tax on the beverages would not "solve anything", and that the industry is looking at ways to sweeten drinks without sugar.