72% Islamabadian prefer tax as effective way to curb sugary drinks: Survey

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ISLAMABAD,   (Parliament Times) :  A consultative meeting was held with the administrators and sociologists of the law and policy makers on the prevention of diseases caused by the use of sugary drinks in Islamabad.

Accompanied by Major General (retd) Mohammad Ashraf Khan and Patron (Panah), General Secretary of Pakistan National Heart Association (Panah) Sana Ullah Ghumman officiated.Dr. Basir Khan Achakzai, Director, Ministry of Nutrition, NHS R&C, Munawar Hussain, Consultant, Food Policy Program (GHAI), National Coordinator, Nutrition, NCD, Deputy Director, NCD, World Health Organization, World Bank, Pakistan Medical Association Representatives of social organizations including BR, UNICEF, Diabetes Association and others participated.

At the beginning of the meeting, General Secretary Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) Sana Ullah Ghumman thanked the guests.He said the PANAH has been educating the public about heart disease and healthy living for over 36 years.We work closely with government representatives to legislate for disease prevention, as well as with global health incubators to identify the causes of disease. Recent research has shown that A major cause of NCDs is the frequent use of sugary drinks.In a recent poll, 72% of citizens of Capital Islamabad said the tax was an effective way to curb sugary drinks.Our goal is to protect the public from life-threatening heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases one of caused by the use of sugary drinks, so that the public can stay healthy and increase government revenue.

Afterwards, the Participants highlighted the positive effects of implementation of tax and said that the 2019 research analysis on tax proved that consumption of sugary drinks with the help of tax, but also Health risks can be successfully mitigated, according to a study by Wikipedia. The imposition of an ounce tax in Berkeley, California, reduced consumption by 9.6 percent to 52 percent, and a 1.5 cents per ounce tax in Philadelphia reduced sales of sugary drinks by 46 percent.The National Bureau of Investigation’s Economic Research Paper for 2019 concluded that the imposition of a tax on sugary drinks increased public welfare.

Kerry Digest published a report on sugary drinks and health taxes on February 8, 2021, which made it clear that most countries in the world are in favor of a tax on sugary drinks.Following the publication of the World Health Organization’s 2015 World Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Diseases 2013–2020 (GAP) in 2015, 20 government institutions have developed sweetened beverages (SSBs) to reduce the rising levels of obesity and diabetes. Practice imposed,By mid-2018, 39 countries, states and cities have voluntarily taxed sugary drinks.Today, that number continues to rise, with nearly 50 countries imposing taxes to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks.

Participants said that the use of sugary drinks has become our habit, its prevention will not only get rid of deadly diseases, but also reduce its consumption by imposing taxes.

Suggestions on the strategy to be adopted for the prevention of sugary drinks and implementation of tax were also discussed on the occasion.

At the end of the meeting, Major General (Retd) Patron (PANAH) Muhammad Ashraf Khan said that I am very grateful to all of you for your special participation in the meeting held in the interest of the people. Working together will yield positive results.”