Many pieces of research have shown that consumption of sodas, sugary drinks, and inactive or unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles lead to obesity, diabetes, and several other non-communicable diseases.
Drinking large amounts of sugary drinks can increase the risk of gaining weight and developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and gout. Type 2 diabetes can result in blindness, heart attack, impotence and sometimes death. Weight gain and obesity are two major issues that are linked with intake of sugary beverages.
Research done at Harvard establishes that people who consume one or more sugary drinks daily have almost twice the risk of developing diabetes as those who take less than one sugary drink daily.
A child’s risk of becoming obese increases by 60% with each additional sugary drink consumed daily.
Drinking just one 20-ounce bottle of a sugary beverage per day can result in gaining 25 extra pounds per year.
Comparison of different countries’ obesity health cost
Data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study indicate that the total direct cost for overweight and obesity in 2005 was $21 billion ($6.5 billion for overweight and $14.5 billion for obesity)
In Canada, the additional health care costs stemming from overweight and obesity were estimated at $6 billion in 2006, to which must be added $5 billion from loss of productivity.
A conservative estimate of the health care costs attributable to obesity for the six conditions was NZ$135 million. This represents about 2.5% of total health care costs which is similar to analyses from other countries.
The health costs of obesity in the United States are about $147 billion annually. The annual nationwide productive costs of obesity obesity-related absenteeism range between $3.38 billion ($79 per obese individual) and $6.38 billion ($132 per obese individual).
A study that followed 40,000 men and women for two decades found that those who averaged one can of sugary drinks per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than those who rarely consumed sugary drinks. Similarly, another long study of 80,000 people found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than those who rarely had such drinks.
Sugar is composed of two molecules glucose and fructose. The only organ that can metabolize fructose is liver so if you keep taking a regular dose of this element ultimately it turns into the fat on the liver. So much so that even cancer is linked with the accessive use of sugary drinks since it goes hand in hand with obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Douglas Bettcher, the director of Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases of World Health Organization (WHO), has recently issued a statement in which he has strongly recommended taxing the sugary drinks. Dr. Bettcher believes that this can help lowering the consumption of these beverages and thus resulting in controlling the issues such as obesity.
The experts have come to believe that now it has become more than a personal responsibility to address the problem of unhealthy lifestyle; the governments have to step in and lead the way by making some pro-public policies. According to the health experts, it is better to bottle this Ginnie right now rather than being forced to spend more on health budget at a later stage, which will happen if the population is suffering from issues that could have been tackled earlier, such as obesity.
FIZZ, a group of researchers and public health doctors who have come together to advocate for ending the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (sugary drinks) from New Zealand, unveiled New Zealand’s first ‘no sugary drinks’ logo in Wellington. The logo is part of its struggle to have a ‘sugary-drink-free’ country by the year 2025.
Global taxes on sugary drinks
Irish minister has announced he intends to proceed with his plan to introduce a tax on sugary drinks, but not until April 2018.
Cook County residents could soon find themselves digging deeper into their pockets if they want to buy a soda.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle revealed Thursday her 2017 budget, which includes a plan to start taxing sugary drinks.
Although Pakistan has come a long way from being in 9th position among the most obese countries in the world, in 2014, to being nowhere in top twenty in 2016 but the lucrative business market of Pakistan is attracting more and more beverage companies to float their product.
According to the market analysts, it offers splendid growth opportunities, both regarding sales growth of existing brands and introducing new products and brands in line.
The case study of CCPL
The already existing and high selling brand Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited is investing US 300 million dollars on three state-of-the-art bottling plants in Pakistan. The plants were supposed to be functioning and start production between 2015 and 2017; The first greenfield project in Multan has inaugurated this March. Another investment is also being made in improvements in infrastructure and the supply chain. CCBPL is also planning to increase its 275 million unit-case capacity by 1.5 times by 2017.
The tax multiplier of Pakistan is 1.65, and thus since July 2009, CCBPL has paid over Rs 47 billion in taxation. Also, employment spill over through the sale of the Coca-Cola company products is equal to 13.6 percent. CCBPL has direct and indirect employment of 5000 plus and 70,000 plus, respectively.
The substantial growth of sugary drinks in Pakistani market is because a variety of fruits are cultivated in Pakistan. Currently, 38 units are producing the juices, and the major manufacturing units include Nestle Pakistan Ltd., Mitchells Fruits, and Benz Industries.
Energy drinks in Pakistan
Pakistan saw a sudden growth of energy drinks market after Red Bull made its debut in the country. Right now almost every beverage company is trying to or has already launched its energy drink brand. The most popular energy drinks in Pakistan are
The most prominent ingredient of energy drinks is Caffeine. Caffeine help boost your energy for a time but can result in sleep disorders, later. Regular consumption of energy drinks is associated with heart disease just like regular sugary drinks.
Regular use of energy drinks can lead to indigestion, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, skin problems, and liver issues.
These facts lead to the conclusion that although the consumption of sugary drinks and soda leads to several non-communicable diseases that WHO is seriously concerned about but in the case of Pakistan and such other developing countries where the market is lucrative, more investment is expected in this industry and the soda and beverage companies make a strong financial point by showing their tax records. Keeping in view the warning that WHO is issuing, the governments can take a page out of Berkeley which became first US city to put 1-cent-an-ounce tax on sodas in 2014 which increased the prices of these beverages and as a result, there was a major drop observed in the consumption of these drinks.