Gemma Ahaibwe, Safura Abdool Karim, Anne-Marie Thow, Agnes Erzse & Karen Hofman
Nutrition-related non-communicable diseases were recognised as an emerging problem in Uganda. The Government has adopted a comprehensive approach to improve diets, but implementation is slow. There is limited recognition of the consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages as a contributor to the nutrition-related non-communicable disease burden in policy documents. Existing taxes on soft drinks are lower than the World Health Organization’s recommended rate of 20% and do not target sugar content.
The soft drink industry has been influential in framing the taxation debate, and the Ministry of Finance previously reduced taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages. Maintaining competitiveness in a regional market is an important business strategy. However, the Ministry of Health and other public health actors in civil society have been successful (albeit marginally) in countering reductions in taxation, which are supported by industry.
Conclusions: An established platform for sugar-sweetened beverage taxation advocacy exists in Uganda. Compelling local research that explicitly links soft drink taxes to health goals is essential to advance sugar-sweetened beverage taxation.
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- Published On: December 1, 2021