Evidence brief for policy. Reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and their negative health impact in Estonia (2016)
The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased energy intake, weight gain, overweight and
obesity more than for any other food or beverage as well as with the development of several non-communicable diseases and poor oral health. Already, more than half of all Estonians are overweight or obese, and the numbers are rising rapidly, especially among children and adolescents. The brief focuses on children, as beverage preferences and consumption patterns develop early in childhood and can persist over time.
Four policy options were selected for reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and their negative health effects: regulation of food advertising, labelling of sugar-sweetened beverages and raising awareness about their health effects, school interventions and nutrition policies, and imposing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, subsidizing other food groups and/or substituting alternative beverages.
Based on the findings it was concluded that the four policy options complement each other and, if implemented in combination, would help to reach the goal of better health outcomes. Comprehensive, multicomponent interventions will reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and their negative health effects.