This is the question that the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) wants the government to answer before rolling out a sugar tax on sweetened beverages.
Yesterday the association’s chairman, Rolf Lutge, said the government’s approach of targeting one food group – the sugar industry – would not reduce levels of obesity.
The association proposes a study that examines the total diet of South Africans be conducted as a first critical step to deal with obesity.
The proposal is contained in Sasa’s submission to the government’s policy paper on sugar taxation, which closed last month.
A study, conducted by the University of North West school of biokinetics, recreation and sport science last year, revealed that nearly two-thirds of the population is overweight and that our children have the third-highest obesity rate in the world.