Health: Britain May Tax Sugary Drinks by 20%

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. There are 8.75 teaspoons of sugar in a 330ml can of Coca-Cola. Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra claims that, “consuming just one sugary drink per day is associated with increasing the chances of type 2 diabetes, even in people that are non-obese.” The British Medical Association estimates that poor diets cause 70,000 premature deaths each year. A large part of the problem is that people are unaware of the amount of sugar they consume. The British Medical Association says an extra 20% tax on sugary drinks should be introduced to reduce consumption, and that revenues should be used to make fruits and vegetables cheaper. Would this really make a difference?

The British Medical Association published in its Food for Thought report that taxes on sugary drinks have cut consumption in Mexico, while Ian Wright, director-general of the Food and Drink Federation, claims that taxation hasn’t worked neither in Mexico nor in Europe where “consumer demand has returned to its original patterns.” Mr. Wright claims that obesity is tackled with balanced diets, physical exercise, and nutritional education, not through taxation. The battle against sugar is becoming increasingly important.

Contributor: Cristina Herrara

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