Tax on sugary drinks to help curb obesity


The Government of Antigua and Barbuda says it will undertake a number of measures to help address the increase in chronic non-communicable diseases here.

Officials say that a strong public education program, focused upon health and wellness, must also be extended to youth who are still students.

It was agreed that a tax on sugary beverages is likely to dissuade the intake of the sweetened drinks and would lead to an increase in the intake of water—the best drink there is.

It was also agreed that bakeries which utilize a lot of fat and grease in their products also contribute to the high level of diabetes and organ failure.

There are now 18 dialysis machines at the MSJMC, and more are required to treat those ill persons whose kidneys have failed. 

The Cabinet agreed to form a Committee that involves experts from the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Trade, Education, and Information; they would develop a national program to combat the rise of diabetes and other NCDs in the nation.

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  1. Wow! You mean there is something other than the CCJ referendum brainwashing going on in this country?? Wow. And here was I thinking all that mattered to the economy was the CCJ.

  2. I think it is a good idea for our government to take this proactive approach. However, it would be nice if the extra tax collected from the sugar drinks be used lower the cost of 100% fruit juices and other health products along with healthy eating campaigns.

  3. Does this mean we will see a healthier looking Attorney General? Why not use him in the promo and do a “before” and “after” of his healthy lifestyle 90-day journey?

    • His is an eating disorder. He loves too much food. And his people always spoil him bringing him all sorts of things to eat.

  4. yes they say you have to feel it in your pocket. But taxes on goods have never shown to be a deterrent for those wanting to use them. Look at tobacco and alcohol use. What does help is EDUCATION. And do not bother with trying to teach an old dog new tricks. Start with the children at a young each. teach them so them can make educated decisions when buying food. I am amazed sometimes to see young children turn vegan when they are educated about the benefit of food and the ills of the junk food. They get Food and Nutrition as a subject on school, but I do not think the syllabus address the right things. We need to have natural health teachers in the schools. Focusing on teaching the children about Ital Food and natural health. You are what you eat should be the slogan. I guess we will wait until 80% of our people are obese or suffer from cardiovascular diseases. And we know how much that cost is to Medical Benefits. That is money that could be spent on education.

  5. Taxing alone will not address the issue. Invest in public facilities to encourage physical activities for people of all ages. Invest in Community recreational centres with gyms. Create walking trails and cycling trails and other things.

    • You realize that every village has sport field of some sort. You need to have programs that encourage the lazy ones to participate in the sport. Like more health walks with the community.

      • So true… Unless some sort of programs be put in place to encourage people to exercise, these recreational facilities will just go to waste. These structures will deteriorated slowly lost of money in constructing them in the first place.

        • The problem I see with these sport fields is that they are used by a certain group of young people only to play football or cricket. There is so much more that can be done on a field. Exercise classes for the old people. or for the stay at home mothers. aerobic lessons. Just to name a few. But you need a person in charge to roll out all these programs.

  6. I am happy to see that Antigua an Barbuda has joined with more than 30 countries around the world in putting new taxes on sugary beverages in just the past four (4) years. This new increase tax will help raise more revenues to address the health care services offered. Taxes on sugary won’t solve the world’s obesity problem but it would help and made to help more.

  7. I think the government should put ban on the importation of sugary drink…. just as how they ban plastic bags to keep the country healthy… well do the same to keep the citizen healthy….

  8. The next thing the government needs to do is to stop the vendors at the schools from selling all these sugary snacks to our children. They are making things worst with sugar cake, raspberry jam, tamarind balls and suka bobby and many other bad stuff for the children’s health. They need to be trained to sell healthy stuff to our children at the school. I don’t think these vendors have a clue of the role they are playing in the children’s health.

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