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12 January: Prevention news wrap

By Helen Signy, Senior Communications Officer

The AMA wants sugar-sweetened drinks taxed, but will it happen?

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for a tax on sugar sweetened beverages as part of a positioning paper on the country’s nutrition.

Sugar tax: why health experts want it but politicians and industry are resisting

New calls for Australia to introduce a sugar sweetened beverages tax have sparked an outcry from the food and beverage industry and provoked resistance from politicians. But why do health experts keep calling for a sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) tax, and why are politicians and industry resisting it?

Sharp drop in Australian teenagers’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco

The consumption of alcohol and tobacco has dropped among Australian teenagers and they are also using fewer drugs than 20 years ago, according to a new study tracking adolescent health since 1999.

Tobacco giant’s controversial ad

The cigarette company Philip Morris has stunned the public by taking out full-page ads in the United Kingdom declaring that its New Year’s resolution was to “give up cigarettes” and replace them with “healthier alternatives” such as heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes may be a gateway to smoking for teens, researchers say

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics adds to a growing body of evidence linking the use of electronic cigarettes and other non-cigarette tobacco products to future use of conventional cigarettes in teens.

Online program reaching out to young Australians drinking to cope with anxiety

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has developed a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program for young people whose main reason for drinking is to cope with anxiety, shyness and nervousness. The free internet-delivered program, INROADS, is delivered via computer, phone or tablet.

Limit children’s snacks to 100 calories, health body says

Public Health England has launched a campaign to encourage parents to limit children’s snacks to two a day of no more than 100 calories. The eight-week Change4Life campaign will offer money-off vouchers towards items including malt loaf, lower-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar in some supermarkets.

Baby boomers can reduce heart failure risk if they start exercising, research shows

New research from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has found middle-aged people who are unfit can reduce or even reverse their risk of heart failure if they start exercising regularly. With 150 minutes of exercise per week, participants improved oxygen utilisation and reduced cardiac stiffness after two years.