Will a fizzy drink tax stop obesity?

Slapping a 20% tax on soft drinks would cut the number of fat Britons by more than a quarter of a million, claim experts.
  • 20% tax on fizzy drinks
    Stephanie Lowe
    Last updated: 01 November 2013, 14:20 GMT

    A new study claims a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks would reduce the number of adults who are obese or overweight by 285,000.

    The tax would raise £276million a year to help the NHS cope with the burden of obesity-related illnesses, says the report.

    There have been growing calls for a tax on soft drinks with high sugar content as a way of cutting the rise in obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

    Sugar is a silent but deadly killer. Its consumption contributes to around 35 million deaths worldwide every year.

    “I think we are all getting hooked on refined sugar,” says Shaw Somers, a specialist surgeon and doctor on Channel 4's Food Hospital. “It is so immediately gratifying – an energy boost.

    “There's no recommended daily limit in terms of calories but if sugar makes up a disproportionate amount of your diet, you will gain weight – it’s a very concentrated form of calories.”

    Know what you're drinking:

    • Starburst Strawberry flavour milk, 400ml, 42g sugar = 11 HobNob biscuits
    • Apple juice, 250ml, 42g sugar = 4 original glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts
    • Ribena, 500ml, 52.6g sugar = 13 Oreo cookies
    • Orange juice, 500ml, 51g sugar = 13 HobNob biscuits


    Stephanie Lowe
    Last updated: 01 November 2013, 14:20 GMT

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