'Sugar tax' call to tackle obesity in UK

Action on Sugar campaign group has called on the UK government to introduce a “sugar tax” to discourage consumption of sweetened soft drinks. The group said it had developed a seven-point plan to curb childhood obesity following a request for its views from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Obesity in children leads to the premature development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, which are the commonest cause of death and disability in the UK.

Action on Sugar’s chairman Professor Graham MacGregor

The seven measures called for are: 1) Reduce added sugars by 40% by 2020 2) Cease targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to children 3) Ban junk food sports sponsorships 4) Reduce fat in ultra-processed foods 5) Limit the availability of ultra-processed foods and sweetened soft drinks, reduce portion size 6) Incentivise healthier food and introduce a sugar tax 7) Return responsibility for nutrition back to an independent agency.

Shameful that the food industry continues to spend billions in junk food advertising targeting children … They even manage to associate sugary products with sport.

Cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar Dr Aseem Malhotra