BMA Seeks 20% Sugar Tax on Fizzy Drinks


To combat Britain’s obesity crisis, the British Medical Association (BMA)  is calling for a 20 pence tax on fizzy and fruit drinks …reports Asian Lite News

childhood obesityGrowing crisis in child obesity and dental health have pushed British doctors to appeal for a 20 per cent “sugar tax” on fizzy and fruit drinks.

The demand from the British Medical Association (BMA) increases pressure on the Government, which has so far resisted calls to put up the prices of unhealthy fare, reports The Telegraph..

The country’s chief medical officer and life sciences minister George Freeman have both spoken in favour of such taxes, however the Health Secretary and Downing Street have both ruled it out..

BMA report suggests a price hike is necessary to discourage the public – especially children – away from the “empty calories” in fizzy and fruit drinks. Such a tax could be used to subsidise the sale of fruit and vegetables, with too many children now growing up with “no concept of where their food comes from,” the BMA says.

Official figures suggest one third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, and two thirds of adults weigh too much.

Government data shows that children and teenagers are consuming 40 per cent more than current recommended allowances, with fizzy drinks and fruit juices the largest source of sugar for those between four and 18.

One can of Coca Cola would use up all of a man’s allowance, and exceed the limit for a woman or child.

The BMA said more needed to be done to wean the nation off sugary drinks.

The report also calls for an end to the marketing of sweets and sugary drinks using children’s television or film characters or celebrities, criticising Haribo sweets based on Minions film characters and Robinson’s Fruit Shoot drink branded with logs from Angry Birds videogames.

The report, Food For Thought, says poor diet costs the NHS around £6 billion a year – a greater impact than alcohol consumption, smoking or physical inactivity.