Sugar tax. Definitely A Thing.
Obesity is still a crisis, apparently, and a new clandestine report by Public Health England for the government includes concrete recommendations for a sugar tax. But worse, much worse, than that is the call for the assassination of the Coco Pops monkey.
As part of their child obesity strategy, ministers asked Public Health England to look at ways to reduce sugar consumption. PHE duly did so, but the contents of the report have so far remained secret, with the findings not yet published by either PHE or the government.
However, PHE has now confirmed a sugar tax is one of its recommendations after their director of diet and obesity Jane Tedstone appeared before MPs on Tuesday saying the organisation "does see a role for a fiscal approach" and the higher the tax increase "the greater the effect".
This was further confirmed by “sources” at PHE who stated that the report specifically called for a sugar tax, with Dr Tedstone adding that:
"PHE does see there is a role for a fiscal approach in reducing sugary drink consumption” pointing out that a fizzy drink tax in Mexico had led to a 6% fall in consumption, with the biggest impact on the fattest poorest people.
"The point of the tax is to nudge people away from purchasing these things towards purchasing things that are more consistent with a healthy balanced diet," she finished, stating the obvious.
But it’s not yet time to panic, as a sugar tax was described as “only the fourth most effective way to fight obesity.”
Other areas focussed on by Dr Tedstone included taking necessary action on promotions and advertising, with heinous examples given as
jumbo bags of crisps
"bottomless cup" all-you-can-drink fizzy drink promotions
free-chocolate promotions in newspapers
sports personalities advertising junk food
She also has a problem with the Coco Pops monkey mascot. It’s now time to panic.
"We think there could be bigger impacts [on obesity] from getting a handle on promotions, and of getting a handle on the deep, consistent advertising our children are exposed to on unhealthy foods," she said.
The research found that about 40% of food sold in England was discounted and these deals were "heavily weighted" towards sweet and fatty products, which did not save us money, according to Dr Tedstone, but just meant that we buy more food.
The full report and its findings are now rumoured to be schedules for release alongside the government's child obesity strategy in January.