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Sugar tax may be introduced

5th March 2014

The Department of Health currently has a 'responsibility deal', which is a series of pledges by the food and drink industry to tackle issues such as obesity.

Sugar

Ministers are also pushing ahead with labelling that will include a combination of colour coding and nutritional information that will be used to show how much fat, salt and sugar is in each product.

However, Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, told a committee of MPs that unless the government forces food and drink manufacturers, it was unlikely they would reformulate their products.

She believes that being overweight has become "normalised", and that we "have a generation of children who, because they are overweight and their lack of activity, may well not live as long as my generation.

"We may need to move towards some form of sugar tax, but I hope we don't have to."

Earlier this year, doctors called for a soft drinks tax to reduce sugar intake.  She thought that: "research will find that sugar is addictive", and that the public needed to have "a big education" over how "calorie packed" some smoothies, fruit juices and carbonated drinks were.

The charity which advises the government on the food and farming industry, Sustain, says the UK consumes more than 5,727 million litres of sugary soft drinks a year. Adding a 20p tax for every litre sold would raise more than £1.1bn.

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