The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging a global public policy that would have countries impose taxes on sugary drinks as a way of battling the obesity epidemic.
WHO, who is preparing to release research believes that putting a tax on sugary beverages by increasing their price 20 percent would result in a proportionate reduction in their consumption. That would advance the fight against obesity, which has more than doubled since 1980. About half a billion adults were obese in 2014, roughly 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women.
Obesity began rising in rich countries several decades ago, but is now taking hold in middle-income countries like China and Mexico. Public health experts are studying policies that would reverse the increasing trend.
Sugary drinks, like sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks and iced teas have been linked to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. The WHO is also recommending subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables between 10 percent to 30 percent that would reduce prices and increase consumption.