AGRICULTURE Minister David Littleproud says a soft drink tax will not solve Australia's obesity issue.
Mr Littleproud said consumers needed to take personal responsibility for what they put in their mouths.
"Individuals choose what they eat and drink, not the government. Personal responsibility is key here," Mr Littleproud said.
"Government should not dictate the diet of its citizens.”
Mr Littleproud’s comments follow calls by the Australian Medical Association for a new tax on sugar sweetened beverages “as a matter of priority”.
Mr Littleproud said obesity was a genuine issue and the coalition government was taking action.
“The coalition created the $100 million Sporting Schools program and the Healthy Food Partnership – which brings industry, public health groups and government together to agree to healthier formulation of foods Australians buy everyday,” Mr Littleproud said.
"Slapping an extra 40c on the cost of a can of soft drink will not stop people drinking soft drink, nor from buying a doughnut instead. Increasing the family grocery bill will not magically make Australians skinny.
"The AMA has made many sensible suggestions on this topic, but a soft drink tax is not one of them."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously ruled out the introduction of a sugar tax.