Yes, the government should tax soft drinks: Findings from a citizens' Jury in Australia

Moretto, Nicole, Kendall, Elizabeth, Whitty, Jennifer, Byrnes, Joshua, Hills, Andrew P., Gordon, Louisa, Turkstra, Erika, Scuffham, Paul and Comans, Tracy (2014) Yes, the government should tax soft drinks: Findings from a citizens' Jury in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11 3: 2456-2471. doi:10.3390/ijerph110302456

Author Moretto, Nicole
Kendall, Elizabeth
Whitty, Jennifer
Byrnes, Joshua
Hills, Andrew P.
Gordon, Louisa
Turkstra, Erika
Scuffham, Paul
Comans, Tracy
Title Yes, the government should tax soft drinks: Findings from a citizens' Jury in Australia
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1660-4601
Publication date 2014-02-27
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/ijerph110302456
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 3
Start page 2456
End page 2471
Total pages 16
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Abstract Taxation has been suggested as a possible preventive strategy to address the serious public health concern of childhood obesity. Understanding the public's viewpoint on the potential role of taxation is vital to inform policy decisions if they are to be acceptable to the wider community. A Citizens' Jury is a deliberative method for engaging the public in decision making and can assist in setting policy agendas. A Citizens' Jury was conducted in Brisbane, Australia in May 2013 to answer the question: Is taxation on food and drinks an acceptable strategy to the public in order to reduce rates of childhood obesity? Citizens were randomly selected from the electoral roll and invited to participate. Thirteen members were purposively sampled from those expressing interest to broadly reflect the diversity of the Australian public. Over two days, participants were presented with evidence on the topic by experts, were able to question witnesses and deliberate on the evidence. The jurors unanimously supported taxation on sugar-sweetened drinks but generally did not support taxation on processed meats, snack foods and foods eaten/ purchased outside the home. They also supported taxation on snack foods on the condition that traffic light labeling was also introduced. Though they were not specifically asked to deliberate strategies outside of taxation, the jurors strongly recommended more nutritional information on all food packaging using the traffic light and teaspoon labelling systems for sugar, salt and fat content. The Citizens' Jury suggests that the general public may support taxation on sugar-sweetened drinks to reduce rates of obesity in children. Regulatory reforms of taxation on sugar-sweetened drinks and improved labelling of nutritional information on product packaging were strongly supported by all members of the jury. These reforms should be considered by governments to prevent childhood obesity and the future burden on society from the consequences of obesity.
Keyword Childhood obesity
Citizens' jury
Public engagement
Sweetened drinks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Mater Research Institute-UQ (MRI-UQ)
Official 2015 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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