The Australian Beverages Council recently pledged to reduce the amount of sugar added to beverages by 20 per cent by 2020, however the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has labelled the announcement “totally inadequate”.

Dr Tony Bartone, the AMA’s President, said that the commitment was not a significant enough reduction and that the 2020 deadline was too far away. He said the AMA believes the most effective way of preventing the harms associated with the over-consumption of high sugar beverages is the introduction of a sugar tax.

Dr Bartone referred to the success of a sugar tax in Berkeley California where, since the 2015 introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened beverages, there has been a 21 per cent reduction in the consumption of them.

With 63.4 per cent of Australian adults overweight or obese and 27.4 per cent of children, Dr Bartone said that the introduction of a sugar tax in Australia was long overdue.

You can read the AMA’s full media release here.