Diabetes Experts Tell G20 to Tax Sugar to Save Lives and Money

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Diabetes experts called on world leaders on Thursday to use sugar taxes to fight obesity, arguing such a move would save lives and slash healthcare budgets.

Ahead of a meeting of G20 leaders this weekend, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) wants the dual epidemics of obesity and diabetes to be placed on the global agenda alongside major geopolitical and financial issues.

With one death every six seconds, diabetes is now a bigger killer than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The IDF estimates that most countries spend between five and 20 percent of their healthcare budget on the disease.

Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles, accounts for approximately 90 percent of cases and is rising fast, particularly in developing economies where people are shifting to Western diets.

The largest number of diabetics in the world now live in China.

Diabetes puts not only patients but whole economies at risk, according to Petra Wilson, chief executive of the IDF, an umbrella organization of more than 230 national associations.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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