The good news of sugar tax

The country has been caught in a frenzy debating about the subject on radio, TV and workplaces. According to the Minister a tax on sugar will likely reduce consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) hence reduces obesity and the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases. But most sugar lovers are sceptical of the idea and whether this will improve health outcomes in the future.

You might want to read more about healthy lunchboxes.

Eating sugar is not only a practice that people do unknowingly and without proper information on the effects. The problem is in “letting go�? of drinking sugar sweetened beverages and sugary snacks that we consume at work, home and schools. More worrying is that if not properly monitored our children could heading into future diabetes and coronary heart disease. These are habits which have developed over a long period ranging from 5 to 15 years. Learners form a larger part of sugar consumers within South Africa and disciplining your child to reduce his/her sugar intake can be an uphill task. However with a little bit of nudging and motivation reducing sugar consumption is possible.

Think of the following ways to reduce sugar intake for your learners at home or school:

  • Understand your learners eating habits and patterns: Most school going children eat sugary snacks during the day either after lunch or on their way to school.
  • Assist your children to develop health goals: People who succeed in meeting their health goals are those who have been engaged in such at an early age. Develop these goals with them; let them be part of the discussion.
  • Deliver a reward: At the end of every month or defined period in which your learners succeed in meeting a health goal, at least reward them with something that they truly desire to have.  

Read more about these lunchbox ideas for a week.