WHO recommends Vietnam excises special tax on sugary beverages

Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended imposing a special consumption tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in Vietnam, as the drinks are causing negative health consequences for Vietnamese people.

Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended imposing a special consumption tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in Vietnam, as the drinks are causing negative health consequences for Vietnamese people.

WHO recommends Vietnam excises special tax on sugary beverages

Vietnamese people consume twice as much sugar as recommended by the WHO. (Photo for illustration)

The recommendations were announced at a workshop held by the Department of Preventive Medicine, under the Ministry of Health, in Hanoi on June 22nd, to discuss the control of sweetened beverage consumption to prevent non-contagious diseases.

Truong Dinh Bac, Deputy Head of the Preventive Medicine Department, said that an unbalanced diet with much salt, sugar-containing products and saturated-fat and little vegetables and fruits, along with a lack of physical activities are risk factors of NCDs. Notably, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is growing, especially in developing countries, he said.

Each Vietnamese person currently consumes roughly 46.5g of sugar per day, almost equal to the maximum limit (50g/day) and double the consumption level of less than 25g a day as recommended by the WHO. Surveys on household living standards in Vietnam showed that 62.86 per cent consumed SSB’s.

With regards to children, according to the results of a global survey on student health in 2013, the proportion of Vietnamese students who regularly drink carbonated beverages during a 30-day period is 31.1 per cent for of the 13-17 age group, with boys at 35.1 per cent and girls at 27.6 per cent.

In the results, overweight and obesity rates are increasing rapidly, he noted, elaborating that about 25 per cent of the adults are overweight or obese. The rate of obese children under five years old soared from 0.6 per cent 2000 to 5.3 per cent in 2015.

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