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How Sweet it Isn't

Is a sugar tax one way of paying for people's poor health decisions?

Controversial taxes on sugar, salt and saturated fats could save Australia's health budget $3.4 billion dollars, according to a new study.

The report believes with the right structure the taxes on unhealthy food could prompt health improvements.Professor Tony Blakely, from the Centre of Health Policy at University of Melbourne tells 3AW's Ross and John it would help so many people.

"People who are lower income will be more responsive to price, we know that tobacco, alcohol all sorts of things across the consumer range.

"It will be more effective at change and consumption on lower income people," Professor Blakely said on 3AW Breakfast.

However, the University of Melbourne research says the food industry is unlikely to welcome policies that would steer consumption away from profitable processed foods.

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Background: Obesity costs Australians $5.3 billion a year.

"We want to actually make people face the full costs of those decisions"

"Just as when a polluter gets taxed if they pollute the water supply.

"Taxes like this work." - Dr Stephen Duckett