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Can food or drink taxes protect our health?

Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre (EDOR) researchers have contributed to an article that considers the use of food taxes and subsidies to protect our health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Senior Lecturer Māori Health in the School of Health, Victoria University of Wellington, is a long-time EDOR researcher and a co-author of this article.

Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland, is a member of the EDOR advisory board and is the senior author of this review.

The New Zealand Medical Journal article found that all of the 14 recent international systematic reviews of food tax and/or subsidies reported that a tax or subsidy had favourable impacts from a health perspective. A further 12 New Zealand studies were considered and these showed a pattern of results that was consistent with the international evidence.

The authors suggest that based on the published data from both New Zealand and from around the world, the New Zealand Government should seriously consider such tax/subsidy interventions, potentially starting with a UK-style sugary drinks industry levy.

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Meet the EDOR advisory board