Sugar tax comes into force today

Health taxes 'can reduce consumption' of harmful products among the poor

After years of squabbling between industry and public health campaigners, a tax on sugary drinks has finally come into force.

Drinks with 5g of sugar per 100ml will face a tax of 18p per litre, while those with more than 8g per 100ml will face a higher rate, 24p per litre.

Although applied to manufacturers, the decision of whether the taxes will be passed on to consumers is up to them.

Mintel research revealed just under half (47%) of consumers said that a tax making unhealthy food and drink more expensive would encourage them to cut down on these items.

Shortly after the 2016 announcement, Lucozade Ribena Suntory launched Lucozade Zero in the United Kingdom, citing "the nation's changing health agenda".

The money will help fund healthy school breakfast clubs and be reinvested in sport in schools.

In New York, the Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule was a controversial proposed limit on soft drink portions which was heavily supported by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.

The sugar tax has added 10p to a typical 330ml can of Coke or Pepsi. Soft drink companies have been engaged in a range of calorie reduction initiatives for many years - resulting in a 19 per cent reduction in sugar intake (from soft drinks) since 2013.

Health taxes 'can reduce consumption' of harmful products among the poor
Paula Bradshaw: Sugar tax funds should be used to boost school sport

Lucozade, Irn-Bru and Ribena have all slashed their sugar content so their loyal customers don't bear the brunt of a price hike.

Tesco, Co-op, and Asda have all opted to do this - although they will still be stocking branded soft-drinks, which may still carry the levy.

Addressing the House of Commons, the MP for North East Somerset said: "I'm not actually in favor of sugar taxes because I don't think it's the job of the government to tell me how much sugar to give to my children".

"A war is being waged against sugar by the government and the media", said Emma Clifford, associate director of food & drink at Mintel.

A Coca-Cola Great Britain spokeswoman explained their decision to WalesOnline.

'As that has happened, obesity rates have continued to rise'. It is the most common reason for children aged 5 to 9 to be admitted to hospital, causing 60,000 missed days of school each year.

According to one politician, British teenagers consume almost a bathtub of sugary drinks every year, or 234 cans using slightly more rational units.

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