Polish children are the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe with those under 10 eating 95 grams per day, or 19 teaspoons, doctors of the Alliance of Health Care Employers (PPOZ) said.
The draft law on the so-called sugar tax was adopted by the ‘Sejm’ or the lower house of Polish Parliament last week, Xinhua news agency reported.
The bill drafted by the Health Ministry was aimed at imposing additional fees on soft drinks containing sugars as a tool to fight the rapidly increasing problem of Poles being overweight or obese and diseases caused by excessive sugar consumption.
“The introduction of the sugar tax, supposed to discourage Poles from drinking sweet drinks, was advocated by the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO),” doctors from PPOZ said on Thursday.
They added that excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases of civilization.
A diet high in sugar increases the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, sugar consumption is addictive, like alcohol.
It also disturbs the endocrine system, increases oxidative stress and leads to metabolic diseases.
Research has shown that increased glycolysis (carbohydrate metabolism) can cause breast cancer, PPOZ board member Jaroslaw Krol said.
A maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar should be consumed per day – up to 50 grams, according to the WHO, whereas the American Society of Cardiology recommends a maximum of six teaspoons per day (up to 25 grams) for women and nine (up to 37 grams) for men.
Meanwhile, the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, and the Poles 24.
The PPOZ doctors added that a sugar tax was already in force in some European Union countries, and according to research, it has significantly reduced sales of sweetened drinks. (IANS)