(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Jeff Chiu

Sugar tax: Doctors call for charge to fight obesity

A GROUP of Australia's most prestigious doctors groups have called for Australians to pay a sugar tax, in an effort to fight our ballooning waistlines.

The tax is one of six points made by the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, which also included classifying obesity as a chronic disease, encouraging Australians to watch their weight, and delivering better access to bariatric (lapband) surgery.

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The Committee includes the Royal Australian College of GPs, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, plus the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Sydney obesity doctor Dr Georgia Rigas said too many medical professionals felt they were letting down their obese patients.

"There are three medications approved for obesity but none are on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Why is that?" she told the ABC.

It is not the first time such a plan has been suggested.

Earlier this year, the University of Queensland research suggested that a tax could raise $400 million in Australia and save about 1600 lives over 25 years.

The 20% tax rate would mean a $2 can of softdrink would increase to $2.40.

The United Kingdom already has such a tax, which will come into place from 2018.


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