Where do you stand on the sugar tax issue?


Where do you stand on the sugar tax issue?

Where do you stand on the sugar tax issue?

The issue of whether to introduce a tax on sugary drinks will be debated in parliament after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver setup a petition and gained the required 100,000 signatures, reports Food Manufacture.

The petition, which calls for the introduction of a 7p tax per regular-sized can of soft drink, has so far gained over 133,000 signatures since it was launched by Oliver last week.

It is predicted that the tax would generate an additional £1bn in revenue a year, which according to the petition could be channelled into supporting 'much needed preventative strategies in the NHS and schools around childhood obesity and diet-related diseases.'

Oliver took to Twitter to thank the public for their support, writing: 'We did it! To the 100,000+ loverly people in the UK thank you for signing and supporting the petition! #SugarRush.'

In a joint statement with food lobbying organisation Sustain, which has been campaigning for a tax on sugary drinks since 2013, Oliver noted that soft drinks are the greatest single source of sugar in the diets of both school-aged children and teenagers. Tooth decay from sugar is the main reason why 5-9 year olds are admitted to hospital, with type-2 diabetes costing the NHS approximately £9bn every year.

Jamie Oliver's restaurants, as well as restaurant chains Leon and Abokado, have already introduced a 10p levy on sugary drinks and Sustain is now urging others to follow suit.

Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), told Food Manufacture that although he welcomes a debate, introducing a tax is not the solution to combating the obesity issue. He did however suggest that now is the perfect time to start a conversation about the health of our nation, based on science and evidence.

"Robust science and evidence must be at the very heart of this debate if it is to inspire collaborative action capable of tackling obesity over the long-term," he said.

Do you think introducing a levy on drinks with added sugar would help combat obesity issues here in the UK?

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