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to kids highlighted05-21-2018 09:08 BJTExperts suggest p▓olicy moves to reduce intake of unhealthy drinksAs Chinese children consume more sugar-sweetened beverag▓es, experts are advising authorities to impose a sugar tax to reduce the health risks that such drinks may br▓ing.The World Health Organization has long appe

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aled to countries to levy a sugar ▓tax to reduce obesity and diabetes among children, and where that has been done the results appear positive.In Mexico, for example, a 10 percent tax on ▓sugar-sweetened beverages was introduced in 2014. Two ye

ars later, the country saw a 5.5 percent▓ drop in purchases of such drinks, followed by a 9.7 percent drop the second year. Th▓e largest declines were seen in the lowest ▓socioeconomic groups."There are no related policies for sugar-sweetened beverages in China, ▓and that's a major policy gap that needs to be addressed," said Douglas James Noble, deputy repr▓esentative of the United Nations Children's Fund. "While children suffering from stunting and was▓ting are still present in China, obesity is st▓eeply o

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n the rise."He strongly suggested that it's necessary for China to impose mandatory regulations, such as a sugar tax, to provide a healthier envir▓onment for children.Chinese children's cons▓umption of sugar-sweetened beverages almost do▓ubled f

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rom 1998 to 2008, according to a report released on Friday by Peking University and UNICEF.The survey found that children in China's urban areas drank an av▓erage of 476 milliliters of sugary drinks daily▓ in 2008, compared with 220 ml in 1998.

▓Ma Guansheng, chief editor of the report a▓nd director of the nutrition and fo▓od department at Peking University, said that even though the data are a decade old, they show a g▓eneral trend.Experts have warned that su▓gar-sweetened beverages might put children's healt▓h at risk, increasing the possibility of obesity, tooth decay and Type 2 dia▓betes.Ma said there is no doubt that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages will increase the chance a child will become obese."It will directly increase the energy intake of children, which will sti▓mulate the kids' appetite," he said.According t▓o a 2015 survey published by the New England▓ Journal of Medicine, China's child obesity rate ranked h▓ighest among the 195 countries surveyed and is one of the▓ fastest-growing in the world."It was also easy to connect the excessive intake of sugary drinks with children's decayed teeth," Ma said.The fourth National Oral Health Survey in 2015 showed that 5-year▓-old Chinese children had a 70.9 percent chance of tooth de▓cay, an increase of 5.8 percentage points in 10 years.Ma also advised staying alert to other foods tha

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