Breaking Down the Sugar Tax

Posted by: info@esthergodoy.com on May 26, 2017

Breaking down the sugar-tax

Singling out notoriously sugar-laden fizzy drinks is a brand new sugar tax being introduced in the UK. The new legislation won’t take into effect until April 2018 and aims to help tackle the nation’s childhood obesity rates by removing added sugars from soft drinks.

It’s no surprise added sugars have significant effects on our overall health, but let’s break down this new tax and see how exactly it’s come to be.

 

Why?

 

Added sugars have increasingly become a staple ingredient in packaged foods and drinks. According to the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) two-thirds of the UK adult population are overweight or obese, and a fifth of the UK’s children finish primary school classed obese.

The RSPH has confidently stated that sugar consumption is a major contributing factor, highlighting that children are consuming three times as much as sugar as they should be on a daily basis.

Much of this sugar comes in the form of fizzy drinks. “We know that children are still consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar from soft drinks”, says the UK Department of Health.

Obesity is a major issue in the UK. According to the Department of Health, obesity is a drain on the NHS, spending over £6bn annually treating illnesses from obesity.

In addition, The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) have concluded that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes has its own set of serious repercussions and should be minimised.

 

What exactly IS the text?

 

The Government has released new sugar reduction targets. Conforming to these targets is voluntary, that being said exceeding these targets will cost companies money, i.e. the sugar tax.

The tax works like this – any soft drink with more than five grams of sugar per 100ml will be taxed 18p per litre while those with eight grams of sugar or more in the same amount will be taxed 24p per litre.

Companies have a year to experiment with reducing the amount of added sugars to their beverages or reformulating their product to contain no sugar at all. Already the industry has shows reformulation is possible without turning off their consumers with some brands ahead of the curb and already experimenting.

According to the RSPH, “businesses are being encouraged to meet the targets by cutting sugar levels, reducing product or portion size”.

 

What is all this tax money going to fund?

 

The new sugar tax will go to provide funds for sports and healthy eating across schools in England, says Education Secretary Justin Greening.

Schools are estimated to receive £415 million to help students live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Money will also go towards funding healthy breakfast clubs.

“Schools can really help our children get a healthy start in life from exercise and sport, and also from knowing what a healthy diet means. It’s not only good for them while they’re in education, but the health and wellbeing benefits can last a lifetime,” said Greening.

Overall, this sugar-tax is a huge step in helping fight one of the nations biggest issues.

 

We highly recommend some additional reading, including:
  1. Government information on the soft drink levy
  2. RSPH on the sugar reduction challenge
  3. NHS statistics on obesity, physical activity, and diet in the UK
  4. Soft Drink Industry Policy Paper

 

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