It is estimated that health problems caused by Australia’s increasingly overweight population costs taxpayers over $5.3billion per year.
In light of these figures, the Grattan Institute is calling for the government to implement a tax on non-alcoholic sugary beverages in a bid to halt growing obesity rates.
This price increase is expected to reduce consumption by 15% and would raise around $500million for the federal budget.
The report by the Grattan Institute admits that soft drinks are not solely responsible for Australian obesity, but argues that they should be targeted as they are mostly consumed by children and have no nutritional value.
Taxes of this kind have been introduced successfully in other countries like Mexico and the city of California.
The increase in price by 40c per 100 grams of sugar would raise the price of a can of soft drink by 15cents in the hope of encouraging more consumers to drink water.