Overweight and obesity are growing health concerns in Vietnam, with rapid increase in prevalence among both children and adults. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
It is estimated that 73% of deaths and 66% of the total burden of disease in Vietnam were due to NCDs in 2012 (MOH, 2015). Evidence indicates that the consumption of sugary beverages is associated with increased energy intake, weight gain, overweight and obesity, as well as with the development of several non-communicable diseases (WHO, 2017).
Consumption of sugary drinks in Vietnam has increased drastically, sevenfold in the last 15 years, from an average of 6.6 litres per person in 2002 to 46.5 litres per person in 2017 (Euromonitor, 2018). Labelling and imposing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are two key policy options recommended by the World Health Organization for reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and the associated negative health effects.
The proposed project’s overall goal is to pass a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages by 2022 and work toward establishment of front-of-package nutrient labels in Vietnam. Specifically, it aims to:
- Launch various policy advocacy campaigns to policy makers and stakeholders for passing a sugar-sweetened beverages tax by 2022 and inclusion of policy recommendations on mandatory front-of-package nutrient labels and a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in the National Nutrition Strategy for 2021-2030.
- Raise awareness and support of the public, media, and policy makers on a sugar-sweetened beverage taxation and front-of-package nutrient labels and expose industry tactics and interference.
- Improved and updated evidence on health impacts related to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods, and international best practices and policies to control the consumption available for communication and advocacy campaign.
- Improved awareness and commitment of related government agencies on health impacts related to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods, and policies to control the consumption, focusing on tax and front-of-pack labelling policies.
- Improved awareness and support of media agencies and public on health impacts related to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods, and policies to control the consumption, focusing on tax and front-of-pack labelling policies.
- Expanded network of advocates for policies to control the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods.
- Enhanced knowledge about industry arguments/tactics and interference in policy development and implementation.
- The approval of the National Nutrition Strategy for 2021-2030 with inclusion of policy recommendations on front-of-package nutrient labels and sugar-sweetened beverage tax.
- The passage of revised Excise Tax Law by National Assembly with strong tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.