You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NZ should copy Mexico sugar tax: dentists

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/03/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">An effective Mexican tax on sugary drinks has set an example for New Zealand to follow, the dentists' association say.</span> © Getty Images An effective Mexican tax on sugary drinks has set an example for New Zealand to follow, the dentists' association say. New Zealand dentists are calling for taxes to be introduced on sugar-filled drinks following the success of a levy in Mexico.

The Mexican tax reduced the consumption of sugar-filled drinks by 5.5 per cent in its first year and 9.7 per cent in its second, a study published in the Health Affairs journal found.

The New Zealand Dental Association says a similar measure would work locally and was "sorely" needed.

"We're not calling a sugary drink tax a silver bullet, but as part of a comprehensive plan it is one of several measures than can reduce sugary drink consumption, leading to vast improvements in oral health," the NZDA's Rob Beaglehole said.

The NZDA's call joins those by public other health groups, including the New Zealand Medical Association.

The NZMA have suggested a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks would be appropriate.

Dr Beaglehole said the Mexican study also showed low-income households - who are often the group with poorest oral health - reduced their purchase of the drinks the most.

Mexico implemented a 1 peso per litre excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages on January 1, 2014.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon