Canadians really ought to consider a sugary drinks tax – their lives could depend on it.

A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that implementing a 20 percent tax on sugar-heavy beverages would save more than 13,000 lives and prevent more than 600,000 of cases of obesity in Canada over the next 25 years.

The researchers say such a tax on beverages like pop, energy drinks and even 100 percent fruit juices would "go far in reducing death, disability, and health care costs."

They tax could also allegedly prevent up to 200,000 cases of type 2 diabetes; more than 60,000 cases of ischemic heart disease; more than 20,000 cases of cancer and more than 8,000 strokes.

From a financial perspective, the researchers say a sugary drinks tax would account for $11.5 billion in healthcare savings at $43.6 billion in government revenue over a quarter-century.

"A Canadian tax on sugary drinks has the potential to reduce the prevalence of obesity and to improve the health of Canadians, while providing substantial revenue to support other public health measures," said David Hammond, study co-author and professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health.

Researchers added that revenue from the tax could raise funds for "healthy living initiatives” like subsidizing the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income Canadians, providing safe drinking water in indigenous communities, and ensuring healthy lunch programs for schools.

The study – commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society, Childhood Obesity Foundation, Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada, Diabetes Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation – comes after the World Health Organization’s recent recommendation that countries tax sugary drinks as a method of fighting obesity, diabetes and related illnesses.

h/t CTV News