Friday, March 3, 2017

South Africa's sugar tax

South Africa is going to introduce a challenging policy. It is taxation for sugar.

From April 2017, 20% fiscal tax will be applied to sugar-sweetened beverages sold in South Africa. Its aim is not to gaining income of the government, but to reduce citizens' sugar taking.

The conversation: South Africa’s sugar tax: a bold move, and the right thing to do

In South Africa, non-communicative diseases are rapidly spreading among people. In 2004, the obesity rate reached 15%, whereas the shortage of adequate food distribution had not been resolved. Nowadays, one in seven women in South Africa is suffering from obesity.

In general, people in countries with low income tend to take an excessive amount of carbohydrate. In contrast, the main course of obesity among rich people is fat. It is because carbohydrate is cheaper than fat. In this sense, hike to sugar is appropriate for reducing the consumption of foods with high nutrition.

Also, white sugar is criticized as including some adverse effects on human body. Sugar seems proper as a target for a hike, while some relevant farmers are against this policy.

It is uncertain that the obesity rate and fatality will decrease in South Africa thanks to this administration. There are many other factors to make people obese. Nonetheless, I agree with this policy. In Japan, consumers cannot know how much amount each food contains sugar. For example, cake makers hardly disclose the amount of calories and ingredients of each product. Subjects containing sugar should be regulated to some extent, I think.

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