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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.

SUGAR

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?

Is there enough awareness of how much sugar is hidden in these drinks?

330 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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123Siobhan
18th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
People need to be educated about food and what is good and bad for us, and use the saying a 'little of what you fancy does you good', but add on an excess of what you fancy will give you type 2 diabetes, obesity, and eventually kill you.
Taxation is not the answer as the money would not go back into educating people. Food education should begin at home, but in many cases that is where the problem starts. So it would have to be at school, which is an added burden on the teachers. There is no easy answer.
SHOEFLY
8th Aug 2015
0
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I cannot understand how people cannot be aware that these drinks are liquid sugar.
lizfid3
3rd Aug 2015
0
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More taxation? What will this lot tax next? Fresh air? We know the foods which have high sugar content and can surely choose whether or not to buy them for ourselves and our children. No amount of taxation will stop the sale of these foodstuffs, it's down to the manufacturers to step up to the mark and the individuals to take responsibility for their choices.
HJR58
1st Aug 2015
0
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I think all high sugar food and drink should be heavily taxed.
little owl
31st Jul 2015
2
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I don't think there is anything like enough awareness of the amount of sugar in all foods not just the sweet drinks. Taxation will make very little difference as children often buy their own drinks and they will just pay the extra and do without other things if they don't have enough and parents do a weekly shop and will still buy the usual amount of drinks possibly making a show of changing at first but then slipping back into the same old habits as time is always short.
nome
31st Jul 2015
2
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Those who indulge in too much sugar will do it regardless of warnings.
wiffler
31st Jul 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Tax sugar at source.
teamking
23rd Jul 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Surely we should all know by now what has sugar and what has not? Chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, deserts, biscuits, etc are well known,obvious, sugar laden items and it is up to us,as individuals, to reduce / stop taking these things. The real issue is added sugar to things that would be regarded as savory foods plus,another issue is supermarkets stacking fruit drinks along side or mixed in with fruit juices. The former is stacked full of added sugar.
Marylyn Daley
21st Jul 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
We have the rights to know how much sugar is being added to our drinks.We don't need our fruit drinks to be dosed in sugar.it is unhealthy for teeth.Sugary drinks rots teeth,children's teeth are widely affected.
jeaniembe
20th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Unhealthy drinks should plainly have to show how many teaspoons of sugar in the product, then the information could not be avoided. I don't think taxation would be the answer as people who want them would still buy them. People still buy cigarettes, although they apparently can cost up to £10 per pack.
JayneW2
19th Jul 2015
-1
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I never drink any of this muck, the only drinks I consume that are fattening are wind and beer.
JayneW2
19th Jul 2015
0
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jeaniembe
20th Jul 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps the beer gives you the wind ! Cheers to you...
recycledteen
17th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Why do we need all the sugar in drinks? I worry about sweetners and other additives.
I try to make our own drinks because I know what is in them. It is easy to make lemonade and water is easily obtainable. If we continue to buy drinks they will continue to sell them additives as well.
Munsterlander
14th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Looking at how unhealthy all these are I think the government should do something. It has with fags so why not drinks????
Marley444
14th Jul 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I was quite shocked by this chart. It just goes to show it isn't just the youngsters who have to watch what they drink. I think they should label drinks with numbers of spoons of sugar per serving as this is far clearer
MrFred
13th Jul 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
It's the drinks that deliberately brand themselves to look healthy that I find abhorrent.

To take an example from above: "The Juicy Water" uses branding and their name (the incorporation of the word water) to deliberately beguile the consumer into thinking they are choosing the healthy option. It's deceptive and should be addressed by the government bodies to be misleading, and, in my opinion, dangerous to the consumer making the convenience purchase!

The nature of these products is to provide a drink in an environment where you probably don't have time to study the ingredients, so I think we all fall victim to relying on the message the packaging, and name, conveys.

Maybe restrictions should be put in place to combat this. All drinks with a sugar content higher than X are enforced to have a red lid, or pull tab. All drinks with a sugar content lower than X could be allowed (by trading standards) to use a lid or pull tab that is green, for example.
3
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I think you make some very good points Mr Fred ... I have had The Juicy Water, thinking that it was a healthy option, and am shocked at how much sugar it has!! 🙁
susie226
13th Jul 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I think that drinks manufactures should put the amount of sugar on their packages as teaspoons not calories, at least children would be more aware of the amount if sugar in the drink.
Princesbold
13th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
As a diabetic I have learnt to steer clear of all the tested products, however the test has missed out fresh juices. The sugar content of fresh juices might come as an even greater surprise!
Wilf
13th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree. I used to drink a lot of Juices from M&S for example thinking it was very good for me but my wife always said they had huge sugar content so I stay away from all these types of drinks now
Wilf
13th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I was amazed when I saw this chart about how much sugar is in drinks....I think its also down to the manufacturers to lower the amounts BUT NOT to put in sweet additives that are probably even more harmful. I have been gradually putting less and less sugar in my tea over the years and now just dip the tip of the spoon in it and it tastes fine. We should wean ourselves off all this sugar and the manufacturers should put in BIG BOLD writing how much sugar drinks contact. They are duty bound to do this. All the directors of these companies have kids as well don't they?
jeaniembe
20th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I agree, sugar should be reduced in products and not be replaced with alternatives. Sweetness is an acquired taste and you can wean yourself off it. I used to take sugar in tea, now I couldn't drink it with sugar. Ugh !

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