The Alliance for Healthy Living
The Alliance for Healthy Living is a coalition formed by Diabetes Fiji, Consumer Council of Fiji and the National Food and Nutrition Centre (the “Core Group”) in partnership with various civil society groups and members of the public. The Core Group is made up medical and dental practitioners, researchers, consumer advocates, nutritionists etc who have come together to advocate for policies on the sale of sugar sweetened beverages (sugary drinks) to Fijians.
The Alliance has been formed as a key outcome of the Sugar Sweetened Beverages  (SSB’s) workshops organized by the Core Group that have taken place in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa during the period May-August 2014. These workshops were part of national efforts to work towards reducing incidents of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Fiji being “Fiji’s biggest killer”. The workshops provided an opportunity for stakeholders to support and promote practical efforts to address NCDs in Fiji.
The Alliance was born out of concern for the increased role that SSBs are playing in the prevalence of obesity in our society. Many studies link the intake of sugary drinks with poor health, including obesity, type-2 diabetes, dental decay, gout and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease and premature death.
KEY OBJECTIVES OF THE ALLIANCE
The key objectives of Alliance for Healthy Living members are to:
1) Support healthy drink choices;
2) Restrict the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities;
3) Restrict sales, sponsorship and advertising of SSB and nutrient poor food to children;
4) Limit children’s intake of SSB’s and less healthy foods;
5) Make healthy food affordable and available to combat NCD; and
6) Any other roles agreed to by the Core Group in consultation with the Alliance for Healthy Living to pursue in future.
In the mid-year budget of 23 June 2016, Fiji raised the excise duty on locally produced sweetened beverages from 10 Fijian cents per litre (around US$0.05 per litre) to 30 cents per litre (around US$0.15 per litre). In August 2017, the excise duty was further raised to 35 cents per litre (around US$0.17 per litre)