Sugar drinks

Sugary drinks tax could drastically reduce obesity in young people

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:31 GMT Jump to Comments

Implementing a tax of 20 per cent on sweetened drinks could help reduce obesity among thousands of young people in the UK, says leading healthcare research.

A new study published today on the BMJ has found that the introduction of a drinks tax would reduce consumption of sugary drinks by an estimated 15 per cent.

Contributing towards a reduction in weight gain, this tax would mainly affect the under 30's who are most at risk as regular consumers. 

Researchers from the universities of Oxford and Reading have said, "taxation of sugar sweetened drinks is a promising measure to target population obesity, particularly among younger adults”.

Regular consumption of sugary, sweetened drinks has been proven to contribute towards obesity, tooth decay and in extreme cases diabetes. 

But this study has gone a long way in providing real data which supports evidence that a drinks tax will not only reduce consumption but will have real health benefits for people living unhealthy lifestyles. 

In addition to the health benefits there are economic benefits as well, with revenue predicted to grow by up to £276 million a year.

This revenue could be used to "increase NHS funding during a period of budget restrictions or to subsidise foods with health benefits, such as fruit and vegetables”, say researchers.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges says a pilot scheme led by the UK would be "a good start" to measuring the effects of such a price increase and would contribute towards the possibility of real policy change.

Assistant Professor of Harvard Medical School, Jason Block, has predicted the results of such a pilot could also have a profound effect on the rest of the world's attitude to unhealthy product consumption.

Block has called on more countries “to implement high taxes and measure the results” among populations suffering from obesity epidemics.

Comments

Latest

Technological solutions that employ real-time traffic data are now being considered by governments worldwide as…

The involvement of patients in the running of health services was first made a legal requirement in the Health…

The future of the National Health Service came under the spotlight again last week; a report launched by the Health…

Against a backdrop of continued budget restraints, it would be understandable if equipping employees for flexible…

The move to online services has improved the provision of care for residents across Scarborough, opening up the…

Right now, in excess of 150 NHS patients are referred abroad for proton therapy each year. The Department of Health…

British people aren’t saving anywhere near enough, whether it’s for retirement or inevitable rainy…

Six experienced, committed general practitioners talk about retiring early, going abroad, impossible hours, patient…

Promises of a paperless NHS may have been a bold move from Jeremy Hunt, but an approach in Surrey could still…

Healthcare organisations are exploring ways to use wearable devices to simplify, transform and accelerate patient-centric care.

As the journey towards health and social care integration progresses, Colin Henderson explores what lessons can…

The increasing volume of information, data and communications is in danger of drowning public sector employees…