Several cities and countries have implemented a tax on sugary beverages and at a public panel hosted by the University of Victoria this weekend, health advocates will propose that Canadian governments do the same.
Naylor said research has proven sugary drinks are the number one source of sugar in Canadian diets.
Consumption highest among youth
The average consumption for Canadian youth is more than twice the consumption of adults.
According to Naylor, youth drink approximately 578 millilitres daily, which far exceeds the sugar intake recommendations suggested by the World Health Organization.
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For children under eight, Naylor says the intake is an estimated 326 millilitres.
Tax could save almost 8,000 lives a year
Excessive sugar intake contributes to obesity and chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes.
Naylor is advocating for a 20 per cent tax that studies show would avert approximately 8,000 deaths in Canada a year.
The proposed tax would be levied at the manufacturer and be transferred to the cost of the product on the shelf.
This would have "a substantive impact on our health," said Naylor, who argued that if prices go up, consumption will come down.
Tax already in place in many places
Taxes on sugary drinks have been successfully adopted in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Barbados, Chile, France and several American cities.
The event coincides with The International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity's annual meeting that is expected to draw health experts from around the world to Victoria.
With files from All Points West
To hear the complete interview click on the audio labelled UVic panel debates tax for sugary drinks.