Diabetes Advocate Questions Effectiveness of Sugar Tax

Shawn Wicks

A diabetes advocate and nutrition coach doesn’t think policies like the addition of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks have a dramatic impact on the health of a population.

Today is World Diabetes Day.

The provincial government introduced an additional tax on suger-sweetened drinks, a measure government said was intended to help people make healthy choices. It raised about $11 million in revenue in the first year, which will be used to fund programs like the expansion of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Pilot.

Shawn Wicks of St. John’s is a mixed martial arts competitor also known as the Diabetic Fighter and trains with universal MMA in Vancouver.

He was diagnosed with a rare form of type 1 diabetes and has made it his mission to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle and spread that message to others living with diabetes.

Wicks says he’s not sure that added taxes are an effective tool when it comes to making healthy choices.

“It’s like adding more taxes to cigarettes. People are still going to buy cigarettes. I think what’s important is for proper education.”

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