Obesity means a higher risk of chronic illnesses, particularly hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Sugar taxes target soft drinks because a number of drinks contain a large amount of sugar; while are considered to contain ’empty calories’ – providing little nutritional value.
The soft drinks industry has been voluntarily reducing sugar content in their drinks and moving toward healthier brands. But since April, soft drinks have been taxed in the UK based on their sugar content.
It is argued that this marks the first step towards the government tackling potentially unhealthy foods through tougher tax measures.
There is no doubt that there has been an overall reduction in sugar and salt levels as a result of this voluntary approach, but some have seen only a small proportion of manufacturers meet the targets that have been set.
The tax on the soft drinks industry is the first time government has decided to order, rather than ask, an industry to make their products healthier. Industry has always preferred to work with the government to help shape policy and will be nervous about losing its place at the table.
Will taxes work to help reduce obesity in the UK? At the moment the results are yet to be seen. Let us know what you think! @Activ8Tameside on Twitter