Doctors want 20% tax on sugary drinks

13 July 2015

sugar-is-a-drug Junk food is bad for you. Who knew? Well, doctors (who cares which ones?) would like to see a 20% tax on sugary drinks, as they think it would be a "useful first step" towards reducing obesity. It is thought that a third of the UK will be obese by 2030, so the British Medical Association (BMA) think this tax might put the scuppers on that.

Maybe if someone thought of a way of making other food more tasty than sugar, that might help first.

The BMA report, Food For Thought, warned that bad diet costs the NHS somewhere in the region of £6bn a year, so a 20% tax on all non-alcoholic water based beverages with added sugar (a gobful in itself), including energy drinks, fruit drinks, fizzy pop and all that, could subsidise the sale of fruit and veg.

They also have a pop at the Government for putting far too much emphasis on industry involvement when it comes to developing food and nutrition policy in the UK, thanks to their reliance on public-private partnerships. The BMA reckon that this arrangement provides a platform for companies to promote and enhance their own wares, which is clearly problematic.

The report's author, Professor Sheila Hollins, said: "While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and when people in the UK are already consuming far too much sugar, we are increasingly concerned about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes."

"We know from experiences in other countries that taxation on unhealthy food and drinks can improve health outcomes, and the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. If a tax of at least 20% is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people."

"We know that the majority of the UK population, particularly low income households, are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables, so financial measures should also be considered to subsidise their price, which has risen by 30% since 2008.

"This is an important way to help redress the imbalance highlighted previously between the cost of healthy and unhealthy products, which particularly impacts on individuals and families affected by food poverty."

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice   Supermarket   Health

4 comments

  • Lillian
    Sugary drinks do not actually benefit anyone and therefore, they are a huge problem to tackle with and this tax would help curb the consumption of sugary drinks, so its a positive move. When i was obese, my daily diet used to contain a lot of soda and sugary drinks and that is what led me to gain a lot of weight as well. Thankfully, I found the diet of lisa plog and was able to lose 22 pounds. It helped me cutback entirely on sugary drinks and it is very easy to adopt as well. Google for "lisa plog diet plans" and you would be able to find her diet. It is important to limit the intake of calories, if you really want to lose weight.
  • Fagin
    fuck me, you needed to search the internet to provide you with the obvious! (facepalm).
  • Rhi
    Meh. The cheapest "sugary drinks" are sugar free anyway, so price isn't really as much of a factor as they're making out. I always wonder about these people who blame sugary drinks, if they're actually connected to what's going on at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Or if they're just taking pointers from America where (thanks to governmental a corn subsidy) sugary drinks actually are the cheapest.
  • Teri
    Another American election cycle is upon us, and large numbers of people are lining up to pour their time and money into the sewer of politics, to be lost forever. This system will not be fixed. Period. This is Rome in 460 AD. The rulers, as in Rome, are liars, mad, or drunk (these days, drugged)… or all three. The “fall of Rome,” of course, was far more complex than we learned in school, but through all the many years of its decline, Rome was full of well-meaning people trying to reform and save it. And by the way, among the people who tried the hardest to keep the Roman game going were the Goths. They tried hard to keep Rome operational… and they failed too. Let me be clear on this: Once ruling hierarchies get beyond a certain point, they cannot be reformed. And I am sure that the modern West is beyond that point. Do we really believe that central bankers will just lay down their monopolies? Can we seriously expect a hundred trillion dollars of debt to be liquidated without any consequences? Do we actually believe that politicians will walk away from their power and apologize for abusing us? Do we really think that the corporations who own Congress will just give up the game that is enriching them? Does anyone seriously believe that the NSA is going to say, “Gee, that Fourth Amendment really is kind of clear, and everything we do violates it so, everyone here is fired and the last person out will please turn off the lights”? And does anyone believe that the military-industrial complex will stop encouraging war, or that corporate media will stop worshiping the state, or that your local sheriff will apologize for training his cops to be vicious beasts? Do we really believe that public school systems will ever stop lauding the state that pays all its bills? I could go on, but I think my point is made: This system will never allow itself to be seriously reformed. Trying to fix this is like trying to revive a long-dead corpse.

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