The Global Health Advocacy Incubator supports advocacy campaigns calling for healthy food policies at the national level.

Our Work

For the last five years, we’ve worked with civil society organizations in Brazil, Barbados, Colombia, Jamaica and South Africa to mobilize citizens to call on their governments to pass these policies. Through our Advocacy Fund and Legal Defense Fund, we help organizations and governments promote and defend their healthy food policy initiatives. We support advocacy efforts to:

  • Enact taxes on sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.
  • Add mandatory Front of Package Warning Labels to help consumers identify unhealthy food and choose healthier alternatives.
  • Remove unhealthy food and beverages from public sector facilities, especially schools.
  • Restrict marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children.

Where we work:

Our focus countries: Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and South Africa

Our Advocacy Fund countries: Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Uruguay and Vietnam


Advocacy and Legal Defense Funds

In addition, our Advocacy Fund expands the reach of the program globally by supporting organizations outside of the focus countries. The fund identifies policy initiatives

that require short-term advocacy support to pass promising healthy food policy legislation or regulations.

Our Healthy Food Policy Legal Defense Fund helps governments defend strong, evidence-based healthy food measures against legal challenges brought by well-resourced companies or industry bodies.

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Our Impact

  • 2020: Brazil mandated front-of-package warning labels for processed foods and strengthened restrictions on ultra-processed foods in schools.
  • 2021: Argentina and Colombia mandated front-of-package warnings; Argentina’s law also restricts marketing to children and regulates food procurement for the government schools.
  • 2022: Nigeria adopted a new sugar-sweetened beverage tax and Barbados increased its sugar-sweetened beverage tax to 20%.
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Success Story: Taxing Sugary Drinks to Improve Health

The challenge:

Sugary drinks contribute to a South African health epidemic in which obesity-related diseases like heart attack and stroke account for more than half of the country’s deaths. Diabetes alone takes more than 25,000 lives a year.

GHAI’s role:

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator supported local partners to develop a comprehensive campaign strategy to advocate for a sugary beverage tax proposed by the Finance Minister. Evidence shows that taxing sugary beverages drives down consumption and improves health.


Parliament passed the new Health Promotion Levy, and the President signed it into law in 2017. The tax went into effect in April 2018. GHAI continues to work with local partners to push for a broader set of policies to address obesity and its related diseases. Taxes on sugary drinks have been an effective way to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks as evidenced by similar taxes in other geographies.

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The Latest Food Policy News

Health Taxes
May 18, 2023
Using the Power of Health Taxes to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases

More than eight million people die each year from smoking and approximately 184,000 deaths per year can be attributed to sugary drink consumption worldwide. St…

May 10, 2023
Pakistan Approves Higher Sweetened and Sugary Beverage Tax

Obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a growing concern in Pakistan. With 41.3% of adults being overweight or obese, and 6 out of 10 deaths …

2023 04 17 Niteroi Blog Picture
April 17, 2023
Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Eating: Niterói's Victory in Banning Ultra-Processed Products in Schools

Earlier this year, students, families, and health advocates celebrated a major legislative victory in Niterói, Brazil, with the passage of Law No. 3766/2023,…