An Overview of the Sugar Tax

I apologise greatly for the lack of posts recently; the revision period has started!

The sugar tax was brought about in the recent Budget in the aim to improve childrens’ health and hinder the growing obesity of our nation. It stated that there would be a tax of 7p on regular-sized fizzy drinks which could generate £1 billion per year; money which could be put towards health education programmes and fitness regimes.

The arguments for the sugar tax include:

SUGAR

  • Health implications- this proposal could solve the country’s obesity problem, whilst it would also reduce the risk of strokes, heart disease and diabetes. It is estimated to save almost 80,000 lives!
  • Similar programmes have been effective in other countries- a comparable motion was put in place in Mexican 2014, where the country introduced a 10% increase on the price of sweetened beverages. As a result of the introduction of this programme, they have found that over the course of one year, the average person has purchased 4.2 fewer litres of sugary drinks.
  • Economic benefits- it is estimated that £530 million would be raised, which would be put forward into funding fitness programmes and improving health awareness.
  • Sugary drinks are taxed in 2 bands- drinks with 5g per 100 millilitres will cost less than drinks with 8g per 100 millilitres, thus allowing families to gradually adjust their diet to a healthier one.

The counter-argument is as follows:

  • This is not the only solution- the sugar tax will not solve the country’s obesity problem on its own, it will just hopefully instigate a movement towards healthier eating and further encourage more people to exercise. An accumulation of these motions will form the solution!
  • The sugar tax unintentionally penalises the least well off or cokefamilies whom rely on sugary drinks to form a large part of their diet. They have limited funds to spend on the increased price. Furthermore, it also penalises those who suffer from type 1 diabetes who also rely on sugary drinks daily.

 

Overall, I believe that education upon health from a young age is key, where initiating fitness programmes in younger schools has already been introduced in some primary schools, such as the 1 mile a day campaign where children can run, hop, skip or simply just walk a mile a day! This, alongside the sugar tax is already being backed by many influential people, especially in the food and drink industry, such as Jamie Oliver which will increase advertising and help tackle the problem sooner!

As always, any likes, comments, opinions or questions will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Images found here!

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