Taxing sugar and fat would extend life expectancy by eight days

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LONDON, Feb 15: Newly released modelling by researchers from the University of Melbourne has reignited debate over the so-called ‘fat-tax’.

The research shows the tax would work best if it was coupled with subsidies for fruit and vegetables to lessen the burden on low socio-economic families.

Melbourne University’s Centre for Health Policy claims the move would save more than $3 billion in health care costs and boost the life expectancy for Australians by roughly eight days.

“It may not sound like a lot but actually most health interventions don’t get anywhere near that sort of gain, so you have to take your gains where you get them,” co-author Professor Tony Blakely told SBS News.

Professor Blakely said the measure is not a silver bullet for combatting obesity in Australia, but it would help start a process of healthier eating.

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