Is taxation the answer or is awareness going to reduce our sugar consumption?

The British Medical Association is advising that sugary drinks should be taxed at 20 per cent to tackle the obesity crisis.

But will additional tax on these drinks actually make a difference to consumption, or is it awareness that will make people change their drinking habits?  When we hear about sugary drinks, our initial thinking may be directed towards fizzy drinks consumed mainly by children, however, when you look at the chart below, you may be surprised about the large amount of sugar contained in some of these drinks.


This graphic shows how many teaspoons of sugar are in each of the fizzy drinks and sugar-laden juices above

Most of us know that that Britons are consuming far too much sugar and doctors link this to a rise in illnesses such as diabetes. Somehow, we need to make a shift back to drinking more water and less processed products, so is increasing tax the answer.  Shouldn’t manufacturers of these products take some responsibility and just stop producing these harmful products?

The BMA, which represents 153,000 doctors, is seeking a ban on advertising unhealthy food and drink around children’s television programmes and an end to the marketing of sweets by children’s TV characters. But why make these products in the first place?

Should sugary foods and drinks carry a cigarette-style warning pictures to highlight the risk they pose to children’s health and teeth?

What are your views? Is additional taxation on these drinks going to make a difference to consumption? Could awareness of sugar content be more effective than taxation? Is there enough awareness of how much sugar is hidden in these drinks? Is it time to rethink what is actually manufactured and sold? Is it time for us to advocate for something different?

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