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Will the new ‘sugar tax’ make a difference?

The sugar tax on soft drinks will hit consumers from Friday but health campaigners have hailed the extent of reformulations that will see many brands escape the levy.

Manufacturers of soft drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml will pay a levy of 18p a litre to the Treasury, or 24p a litre if the sugar content is over 8g per 100ml, with the cost passed on to retailers and customers.

The Government and health campaigners hope the higher prices will put consumers off buying the most sugary drunks and lead to a significant decline in obesity.

(PA Graphics)

Original Pepsi and Coca-Cola Classic are two examples of formulations that are remaining intact due to customer demand, and will therefore attract the levy, with the cost of a 330ml can of the original Coca-Cola, containing around seven teaspoons of sugar, likely to rise by around 8p plus VAT.

But more than 50% of manufacturers have changed their formulas to cut sugar, according to figures last month from the Treasury.

Tesco has reformulated all of its own-label soft drinks to come in below the threshold for the levy, claiming the changes have cut more than nine billion calories from customers’ diets every year, as have Morrisons, Asda and The Co-op.

Coca-Cola is also replacing its 1.75 litre Coke Classic bottle with a 1.5 litre bottle, which will limit the price rise, and increasing the size of its 1.75 litre Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which are not subject to the tax, to 2 litres.

Ben Reynolds, deputy chief executive at the food and farming charity Sustain, said: “We championed a sugary drinks tax primarily to benefit children’s health, and already we have seen a rapid reaction from the soft drinks industry in reformulating products.

“Whilst this is only one way to tackle the problem, we hope that the higher price of sugary drinks and increased awareness leads to less consumption of sweet and sugary products.”

What do you think? Will the new sugar tax help combat obesity? Or simply lead to the food industry devising clever ways to avoid it? Share your views below! 

Will the new sugar tax make a difference?

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Malcmister
23rd Jun 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Still no difference in price at the supermarket so who are making a bigger profit - supermarket or manufacturer ?
Gilldee
22nd Jun 2018
0
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I always buy sugar-free so it makes no odds
viking
9th Jun 2018
0
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It looks as if this article should be linked to the diabetes one, the two are connected. Therefore is the fizzy drink industry open to make contributions to the NHS, as restitution for damage caused ??
Gilldee
22nd Jun 2018
0
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I don't think the company's will make a contribution but every penny made on the new Sugar Tax should go directly to the NHS
Zena510
26th Apr 2018
0
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People will still buy something if they want it that badly !
viking
10th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Let us be realistic here, the drinks industry will find other "sweetners " to replace sugar because they know full well that sweetness is addictive and the tins of fizz must remain addictive or they will go to the wall.
Thank goodness that this column is confidential !!! I live surrounded by fields and fields of - yes you have guessed it - sugar beet !! It looks highly likely that the latest crop will possibly go to Spain as they just cant get enough of our beet. It remains to be seen if the sugar will mix well with the so called "Mediterranean" diet !!!
Yodama
8th Apr 2018
2
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Sugar is addictive, I don't think people who consume vast quantities of soft and energy drinks will stop buying, they will just pay up!
Manufacturers must stop adding sugar where it is not needed, tax them instead if they break the rules.
Why would you put sugar in soup?
Lionel
8th Apr 2018
1
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At school we had an excellent science master. He was the first British NCO in Belsen, so tough as old boots!

An experiment I recall was putting a new 6" nail into a beaker of coca cola and leaving it for two or maybe three days. All that remained after that times was the head of the nail. The rest, the greater part, had been consumed by phosphoric acid.

That acid was a component of Coke!

Never touched soft drinks since.

Why sugar in soup? I don't know. We like a small piece of hot roast salmon laced with Dill. Bought some from Aldi a while ago. The ingredients included a hideous amount of sugar!

Went to our fishmonger in Southwold and asked to see the wrapper his hot roast came in. No mention of sugar. Just salmon, salt and dill.
Yodama
15th Apr 2018
0
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Cigarettes were once glamourised in films and adverts and are now deemed poisonous. The same thing is happening with Coca cola and other damaging products packed with poisons, heinously targeting the young.and uninformed.
By the way, diet free means adding an equally poisonous substance....Aspartame.. linked to Alzheimer's disease..
ArchieUK
8th Apr 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I was very lucky, born in the 1940's there was no fizzy drinks just corperation pop (water) it did not do us any harm. At christmas my farther used to get a couple of bottles of pop and that was a treat.
Also
We used to walk every whare to school, into town, and I think that helped to keep us away from todays problem of obesity.

I think one of problems is that a lot of parents and grandparents do not care enough for their family's to say NO, which is often the best answer
jeanmark
8th Apr 2018
1
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I think it is a little unfair to suggest parents and grandparents do not care enough to say no. I think in this age many may not truly understand the implications of not saying no. Add to that the number of parents who do not want their children to miss things they were deprived of as children and we end up with a problem. There will always be those who will take the easy option but unfortunately that is human nature.

Yes, we were lucky and accepted and were taught that life doesn't give us everything we wanted. We now live in a different age when most people expect everything they wish for, believing it is their 'right' and if they don't get it, they feel deprived. Advertisements and the media are great at making people feel they want rather than need!
Lionel
8th Apr 2018
1
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My 41 year old step son, a very successful computer services manager in London, exercised his 'rights,' For some years he lived off junk food, especially sugary snacks, consumed Polish vodka like it was going out of fashion and took no heed to either his mother's warnings nor mine.

When he was here last he couldn't fit into my recliner which is quite large, like a single bed. Being small, sometimes I use it as a bed. Eventually he sat on a large seated dining chair and spilled over everywhere.

He admitted to 30 stones, and that on a very slight frame although he is a little taller than me. That weight was a gross under estimate.

But, an intelligent man like him, insisted on exercising his 'rights' to eat and drink what he wanted. Among the last things he said to me was, 'I'll eat and drink what I want. I pay my National Insurance and the National Health will take care of me. I'll be OK.'

No you won't mate. Raising the dead belongs mostly to the times of the New Testament. Even then, no case I can recall was self inflicted.
jeanmark
9th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Well Lionel, as we have both noted before, the NHS is a victim of it's own success. Too many people have lost the ability to take responsibility for their own health, believing instead the NHS is there to 'cure' them of all their ills. It appears that attitude may be passed to their children!
ecarg
7th Apr 2018
2
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Fizzy drinks used to be a treat for my children.Unfortunately many families consume them daily.Education and healthier alternatives are surely better than doing nothing.
AlcanSmith
6th Apr 2018
1
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Another way of getting money from people , Where will this extra go and be used for ...? We as a nation eat too much fat so the sugar difference will make no difference to the body shape . We are constantly being told what we can and carnt do . 5 pence on shopping bags , but is this money being used to clean the seas and streets ( NO )
Cigarettes are heavily taxed , Where is this money gone , VAT on everything we buy where does this money go ?
Enough of taking money off people and deal with the real issue .
jeanmark
7th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I have already stated that people complain when the government do nothing and then accuse them of money grabbing when they do.

Maybe you are not aware of the problem with sugar content in food and drinks? The sugar tax has been introduced to try and reduce the amount children consume in such things as canned drinks etc. A recent analysis found the equivalent of 170 hospital tooth extractions a day were being carried out on children under 18. These are done in hospital under general anaesthetic, not in dental practices. The government are trying to address one of the real issues and manufacturers are now having to take some responsibility as a result. So what is the real issue you believe needs to be addressed?
Lionel
8th Apr 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Jeanmark, I hesitate to interrupt this discourse between you and Alcan, but this thread has become almost irresistible. A little like sugar to some people.

In a sense I have agreement with you both, at least in part. But would you not agree it would have been better to penalise producers of sugary foods, not just sugary drinks, and then declare publicly the proceeds of such penalties would be directed towards resolving the exploding obesity problem in the UK?

As said somewhere on this thread I'm not a great consumer of sugar. A digestive biscuit or a custard cream yes but that's about it. Thus, I'm a bystander.

Yet, as a bystander I may view this situation a little more clearly. I see the problem here with manufacturers of sugary drinks and processed foods. Surely they, the sources of this malaise, should be financially penalised, if not shut down completely. The latter would be my choice.

Yes, I am pleased the government is doing something positive here, but i do think their target, consumers, is actually off target. Government should focus on big food.
jeanmark
8th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree Lionel, but the thinking, misplaced or not, is that manufacturers will start making changes to ensure their profits are not hit.

I just have a problem with everyone blaming governments for the problems we face. They were criticised for not addressing such things as obesity in children and then when they try, are criticised for being money grabbing.

No one appears to blame themselves for the nations health problems. As children, we didn't have the sugary products that todays children are exposed to. We didn't have the degree of processed foods and ready meals that are often high in sugar, so the problem didn't exist. When will we learn that we all need to try and address the problem. Manufacturers respond to demand and we demand manufacturers give us what we want! I believe consumers have to take some responsibility and then make their voices heard.
Lionel
8th Apr 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I couldn't possibly disagree with anything you've said.

In our lifetime we have been part of a movement from a local collective existence with few material goods and just sufficient food to one where the self reigns supreme with little or no individual or collective responsibility. Thus, if a person wishes to eat a Big Mac and drink 2 litres of sugar laden Coke, or a bottle of vodka, while driving then toss the containers into the street it is their 'right.' Surely the Socialist Utopia, 'we'll take care of you from cradle to grave,' has been instrumental in bringing this about. But it has no answer to spurious rights.

'When will we learn to address this problem?' Sadly, Jeanmark, until there's another long term national emergency we won't address this or any other fundamental societal problem. Just put Elastoplast on enormous gaping wounds and scream, 'peace, peace,' when there is no peace to be had. We live in a consumer society and regulating what we may consume is far from easy.

Taxes on sugary drinks will have about as much direct effect as the increased taxes on cigarettes. In my local shop last week an elderly lady spent a few coppers short of £11 on a packet of cigarettes. If smoking is addictive and sugar is addictive I don't think we'll see any decline in their use without a national crisis where these commodities are unavailable. I say this because I cannot see adequate numbers of consumers taking full responsibility for themselves. It's easier to let someone else do the thinking.
MoragG
6th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
My husband adores CANE sugar. not so keen on beet sugar.
He takes ridiculous amounts of sugar in his coffee, and loves all sweet things. He has spinal problems from over 50 years ago and the "EXPERTS" can only diagnose "Severe wear and tear of the spine" He joined the Army at 15 and his identity card said he was 11st 8oz. He is now 75 And if he stepped on to scales he would be within a few ozs.
A non-entity "EXPERT"has convinced a money grubbing government, and they jump at the chance.
He also enjoys a good drink, smokes 40 plus cigarettes a day.
He recently competed a 10 mile heavy duty run organized by The Parachute Regiment!
Bethmac
6th Apr 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I think the government should have done more to point out just how much sugar is in these drinks,it s not just coke n cola there s far too much sugar in supposed healthy drinks too.Perhaps if they show all soft drinks and how many teaspoons of sugar are in each parents would be able to better understand.From the little I ve seen so far adults are shocked when told simply,in teaspoons,how much sugar s in food and drinks.
MarkH8
6th Apr 2018
-1
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It's just another way the government can make more money out of hard working people and steal money from children who aren't eligible to pay tax
jeanmark
6th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
That's a little cynical. We complain when the government do nothing and then accuse them of money grabbing when they do. Can you explain how they are stealing money from children?

The sugar tax has been introduced because many adults take no responsibility or fail to understand the effect on their children's long term health when the child is allowed to consume what ever they want. It has been reported that a recent analysis found the equivalent of 170 hospital tooth extractions a day were being carried out on children under 18. These are done in hospital under general anaesthetic, not in dental practices.

The government has stepped in to encourage manufacturers to take some responsibility by making changes and hopefully educate parents on the effect these drinks are having on their children's health.
AlcanSmith
6th Apr 2018
-2
Thanks for voting!
well said just another way of getting more money out of the public
Alicia
6th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Personally it will not affect me as I do not buy sugar or sugary drinks! More people need to educate themselves and have a healthy diet.
JoyInSutton
6th Apr 2018
0
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I would like to think this would but I have reservations. I am amazed that parents aren't educated enough to understand the detrimental impact of sugar on health. I've seen the TV advertising about sugary drinks. Is it pressure from their children that stops them making the right choices?
Lionel
5th Apr 2018
0
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I've not ever been a great consumer of sugar or sugary products. I don't like it. Savoury stuff is my bag. So, perhaps I'm not qualified to speak on this matter, But ... I will. Well, you knew I would!

Let's all be aware the people who 20 years ago started the campaign against salt in food stuffs and made an absolute fortune out of that campaign are the ones who are now against sugar. So, one must ask, is this an act outside self interest or not? Probably not. Values are quite skewed by the lure of enormous amounts of money.

I'm not at all convinced obesity is caused solely by sugar. Yes, in some part it must be, but not totally. Surely the present obesity crisis is more about what we eat and how often we eat? The majority of Brits are sedentary workers. Yet Mac Donalds are packed out all day. I read a few weeks ago a Big Mac has 1200 calories. Add a salad or fries and that count goes through the ceiling. But sedentary workers seldom burn off those calories.

Where do they go?

Fat!

Add a few sugary drinks and we have an NHS crisis.

Now, anyone who has been on SS a few months will know I'm a great supporter of the NHS. To load our beloved yet neglected NHS with eating disorders is immoral.

Better the State take the bit in it's teeth and fervently tackle the food industry. No holds barred. Just stop the mass production of gut rotting, tooth rotting obese making rubbish sold as food.

But they won't. No government in my life time has the balls to take on big food. In what time I have remaining on this planet I'd like to be in charge of agriculture and food. No need for more manure the farmers will be producing enough to fertilise the land. But I'm not getting into farming methods here. Farmers are more responsible for the obesity crisis than sugar, and that's from one who worked on farms for 25 years!
Wilf
5th Apr 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think it will mkae a differnce as some of these products get priced out of peoples price range. It seems like obesity is the new scourge in society and is making many people ill its the duty of the government to step in a sort it like they did with cigarettes years ago by health advicse and taxing them out of existance.
kentrix39
5th Apr 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
The only thing that will make any difference is parents. Obesity is a self inflicted injury and as such should be subject to some sort of penalty. Kids and adults that take up NHS resources should have to pay, kids through there parents maybe then something will happen.
jeanmark
5th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Whilst agreeing in principle kentrix39, there are many life styles that have an effect on health. I accept obesity has become a greater problem over the years but it isn't the only life style choice putting a strain on the NHS. Parents will already pay for the NHS through their taxes so maybe any one who drinks alcohol, drive a car, refuse to take any responsibility for their own health etc. should pay extra taxes to help those of us who do try to be responsible!!

I do hope the sugar tax makes manufacturers off soft drinks more responsible because consistently raising the tax on cigarettes hasn't stopped every individual from smoking despite 50+ years of health warnings.
Lionel
5th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Surely the danger of raising taxes on a once freely available commodity is that it will become as contraband and imported illegally - usually as a much inferior product - or a substitute produced which will be even more deleterious to one's health.

I say again, it's not consumers who must be addressed first, no, it's producers of high sugar foods and drinks yet which government will take on the processed food industry?

The same case applies to all processed foods. I'd like to see MacDonalds taken down but it won't happen.

I'd better stop there as hobby horse is rock away!
kentrix39
9th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
We all pay taxes even I, at seventy eight must pay for these people that inflict ailments and injuries on themselves.
Motorists should have a bit added to their policies which would require insurance companies to pay out for accidents that in the opinion of the police was caused by the person's own stupidity. The hospital would get paid for that.
This is not about paying extra taxes as you seem to imply it is for inflicting upon yourself an ailment or injury that can be avoided everyone must in some ways pay for mistakes that other people are paying into to cure/help them.
The NHS that is now flooded with people from all over the world, it seems, cannot hope to help all and sundry who could in fact cure themselves.
Smokers are a case in which the amount of people, apart from young girls, has reduced dramatically over the last five years or so.
It seems that people think that the only way to fix something is throw a ton of money at it, we know as a nation that does not work another solution is need, self help.
jeanmark
9th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
The only thing I will disagree with kentrix39 is the NHS being flooded with people from all over the world. That is unless you mean those who actually keep our NHS running! I totally agree that throwing a ton of money toward something will never be the total answer to a problem, the NHS is a prime example. Nevertheless, hitting people pockets may have some effect and that often means taxes! Small changes are often all that is needed to eventually have the biggest impact.

Yes, people do need to take responsibility for their health recognising there are some health issues that are unavoidable. As for the police informing insurance companies that an individuals accident was caused by their own stupidity, well, the police get enough bad press and so I don't think we should add to their burden.
Margaret Hart
5th Apr 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
People who want to reduce the sugar their children eat don’t need to be taxed to,stop it they just use their common sense and the others just don’t care or won’t take advice. If parents took advice we would not have all the online problems we have with children. When parents saw for themselves how hyper active children became with certain food colourants they stopped them having them as it had an affect on their lives

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