Building Momentum: a series of reports providing an overview of lessons on implementing evidence-informed nutrition policy

The first report in the series tackles how to implement a robust sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax in the face of a lack of political will and industry interference

“Every country has the right to tax and every country has the right to have fiscal policy in their constitution,”
– Prof Barry Popkin, University of North Carolina, United States.

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International’s Building Momentum series takes the lessons learned from governments who have implemented evidence-informed nutrition policies, and collates them with the published literature to succinctly outline how to design and implement robust taxes to reduce diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally. Policymakers, academics and advocates from around the world were interviewed to inform the first report, providing essential guidance on how to overcome common barriers and challenges in the SSB tax policy process.

Helen Clark, former UN Development Programme Administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, states:

“The first report from WCRF International’s new Building Momentum series is a comprehensive overview of the lessons learned from countries which have implemented an SSB tax. The report will be a powerful tool to help governments overcome the various challenges faced when implementing SSB taxes. It is important to draw on experiences of policymakers around the world to design robust and effective policy actions which will reduce the incidence of NCDs and achieve global health targets such as those in the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The WHO’s Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, Dr Francesco Branca, said:

“We welcome WCRF International’s new Building Momentum series. It builds on the WHO’s work on SSB taxes and will be a very useful tool for governments seeking to implement a robust SSB tax and help them overcome the various challenges they face in policy development.

The report aligns with the objectives of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition by demonstrating the role and responsibility of governments to create environments conducive to healthy living."

Coming soon

The Building Momentum series will cover other nutrition policies such as front-of-pack nutrition labels and marketing of unhealthy food and drink to children. Keep a look out for the next instalment in the series later this year.