Soft drink sugar tax starts, but will it work?

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The “ground-breaking” sugar tax upon soft drinks has come into force in the united kingdom.

From Fri manufacturers have to pay a levy around the high-sugar drinks they sell.

Ministers and campaigners believe they have already proved to be a success with many companies reducing sugar content ahead of the modify. But others say it is nevertheless too early to judge the impact.

Leading brands such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade have reduce the sugar content of beverages, but Coca-Cola has not.

The introduction of the levy means the united kingdom joins a small handful of nations, which includes Mexico, France and Norway, that have introduced similar taxes.

How will it function?

The levy has been applied to manufacturers – whether they complete it on to consumers or not is about them.

Drinks exceeding 8g per 100ml will encounter a tax rate equivalent to 24p per litre.

These containing 5-8g of sugar for each 100ml will face a somewhat lower rate of tax, associated with 18p per litre.

Pure fruit juices will be exempt because they do not carry added sugar, whilst drinks with a high milk content material will also be exempt due to their calcium articles.

Originally, the Treasury forecast it would raise more than £ 500m a year, but that has at this point been reduced to £ 240m because some manufacturers have decreased the sugar content in their items.

In England that revenue is being invested in schools sports plus breakfast clubs.

Items such as cakes, biscuits and other meals are not covered by the tax, even though a separate initiative is encouraging producers to reduce the sugar content of these items voluntarily.

‘Too a lot stick, not enough carrot’

But will it work? The court is still out.

University of Bedfordshire nutrition specialist Dr Daniel Bailey said that as the levy is a “positive step” within tackling obesity and had led to the “notable” reaction by the industry, the particular response by consumers is unclear.

“The increase in taxes placed on soft drinks will make products more costly, but will this actually dissuade people from buying them?

“We could simply end up with consumers buying the same quantity but paying more. ”

Polling suggests this may be the situation for many people.

Research simply by Mintel found just under half of British people say taxing unhealthy products might encourage them to cut back.

In contrast easier-to-understand nutritional information would get a new purchasing habits of three-quarters of individuals, the survey of 2, 1000 people showed.

Mintel’s associate director of food and drink Emma Clifford said it suggested “carrot” rather than “stick” may be a better strategy.

How have got consumers reacted?

A reaction to the new tax has been mixed with several consumers arguing that government must not interfere in what they consider to become a personal choice.

Tweets user @IAmNeesha wrote: “The #sugartax is a total joke. Can individuals really not just say no? Easily fancy a Coke after function or after the gym, why are I being taxed for it? inch

@sammyyjadee tweeted: “If you teach people that sugary drinks should just be drunk in moderation, and should not have to get part of a child’s diet, all of the would be fine! #nannystate. ”

However , not everyone sights the tax with pessimism.

Among the readers’ comments on this story, TheJags had written: “I’m generally against the government interfering in our lives, but the simple fact from the matter is that the NHS is having difficulties under the weight of unhealthy individuals in this country, and either all of us pay for it or they do. ”

Twitter user @GregoryJSpeakman additional: “Fully support the #sugartax. In case we’re to tackle obesity within this country then we need to take it significantly.

“We’ve attempted education and ad campaigns, this is actually the next logical step. ”

Teens eat huge amounts of sugar drinks

All age groups are consuming excessive sugar, with teenagers the most severe offenders.

These people get a quarter of their sugar consumption from soft drinks.

Community Health Minister Steve Brine stated: “Our teenagers consume nearly the bathtub of sugary drinks every year on average, fuelling a worrying weight problems trend.

“The levy is a ground-breaking policy that can help to reduce sugar intake. ”

Public Health Britain also hopes it will improve the dental health of children.

To coincide with the introduction of the levy, the particular agency released figures showing children in England has a tooth removed within hospital every 10 minutes due to avoidable decay.

PHE’s Doctor Sandra White said: “It’s distressing to see so many children admitted in order to hospital with tooth decay. inch

She is urging family members to skip soft drinks altogether and also to consume water and lower-fat milks.

How provides industry reacted?

Estimates by the Treasury based on market data suggest fifty percent of manufacturers have reduced the particular sugar content of their drinks.

Fanta has cut this by nearly a third, Ribena plus Irn-Bru by half and Lucozade by nearly two-thirds.

Tesco has said none of its own-brand drinks will fall foul from the levy, although the process of reformulation began before the sugar tax was introduced.

Head of sodas Phil Banks, believes about 85% of products purchased at the industry