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Rethinking Sugar Tax - Why Now?

17.02.2016

With the government’s childhood obesity strategy due to be published within the next month, David Cameron has come under pressure from MPs and campaigners to rethink the taxing of sugary drinks.

A recent study has shown that a 10% sugar tax on drinks in Mexico has led to a 12% reduction in sales of such beverages throughout one year. This comes to light just a day after a study published findings that showed that reducing the amount of sugar in soft drinks and fruit juices by 40% over five years could prevent 300,000 cases of diabetes in the UK and stop 1.5 million people from being overweight or obese.

The spokesman for the National Obesity Forum explained that this study has provided “hard evidence” that taxing sugary drinks has lead to a decrease in sales and this therefore makes it difficult to argue against.

Statistics show that children are currently consuming on average three times more sugar than is recommended – with soft drinks accounting for 29% of this sugar intake among 11-18 year olds. 

To starkly highlight the dangers of sugar within soft drinks, a recent publication from a six-year study has stated that just one can of fizzy drink a day causes visceral fat to increase – this is the fat around your major organs such as your heart and liver. It stated that those who drank sugar-sweetened drinks every day would put on 30% more visceral fat than those who never drank them. Having excess visceral fat increases the risk of major illness and disease such as heart disease and the triggering of insulin resistance – a major cause of type 2 diabetes.

Cameron explained that he will be making an announcement later in the year with regards to having a fully worked-up programme to address this issue and that we need to start looking at obesity in the same way in which dangers of smoking has to health due to the dramatic effects obesity is having on diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and the expense to the NHS.

 

If you already have a health and wellbeing initiaitve as part of your Employee Benefits package and would like to add something new, invigorating and exciting to spice things up then for full details of our Power Up & Motivate With Positive Nutrition Workplace Wellbeing Initiative please find our brochure here and to chat through how this may be implemented in your workplace please call Anna on 07778 218009.



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