The Unsweet Truth about Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Sean attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva. He is currently studying a Doctorate of Medicine at Bond University.

Abstract

A leading contributor to the burden of disease and health-care costs of the Australian population is poor nutrition, as convenience is often favoured over nutritional quality in modern society. Sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, hold no nutritional value in a diet, yet two out of three Australians consume at least one daily. This equates to 47% of added sugar to an individual’s diet.1The link between the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and the development of obesity is strong. There is also a strong link between obesity’s pro-inflammatory tendency and an individuals’ susceptibility to develop disease processes, such as heart disease and cancer. This research report will propose two recommendations; a federal sugar tax and restriction of serving sizes of sugar sweetened beverages. In doing so, it will also explore the social implications and political landscape that have hindered the implementation of effective policies to combat the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages to date.

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Non-Communicable Diseases – the Silent Killer: Diagnosis, Risks and Management Evaluation

By Bronte Greer

Bronte attended the 2015 World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings in Peru. 

Abstract

By 2030 three quarters of global deaths will be attributed to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).[1] These diseases not only have significant impact on countries social construct but are expected to cause the global economy an economic output loss of $47 trillion over two decades.[2] The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified five main NCDs, these are (1) Cancer, (2) Diabetes, (3) Cardiovascular Disease, (4) Chronic Respiratory Disease and (5) Mental Illness. Further, WHO and other global institutions such as the World Bank and United Nations have further identified that the there are four main behavioural and environmental factors that significantly increase the risk of NCDs. These are (1) tobacco use, (2) abusive alcohol consumption, (3) physical inactivity and (4) poor diet. Previously, NCDs were seen as diseases of influence, but trends globally demonstrate that these diseases are having a severe impact on low-middle income countries. Whilst discussion has increased and recognition of their severity has been understood, frameworks have failed to understand cultural factors and country capabilities. These omissions have ultimately impacted success in decreasing NCDs. This paper has analysed how previous frameworks such as the Millennium Development Goals have attempted but arguably failed in addressing NCDs.  Further, analysis has been conducted to gage if success of reducing and managing NCDs through the proposed Sustainable Development Goals is likely in their present state. This paper has a role in extrapolating the importance and role both the World Bank and Australia have in securing sustainable change in how NCDs are prevent and managed. Combatting the increase in NCDs requires practical and community-based steps such as increased training for nurses’ support in implementing proven frameworks and initiating a collaborative partnership with global institutions. However it is realised that foreign aid budgets are limited, it is therefore recommended that the Australian initiate and evaluate foreign aid programs and direct more funds towards NCDs.

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