Tax on sugary drinks could help tackle child obesity
MPs have backed a proposal to put a tax on sugary drinks as part of a set of measures to help tackle child obesity. The Commons Health Committee has said that there is clear evidence that imposing a tax would reduce children’s consumption of sugary drinks. The committee has been putting pressure on MPs who have resisted a tax up until now and the committee also suggests that marketing and advertising should be better controlled. The government will announce its child obesity strategy early next year, but a tax is not something that the government favours.
Representatives from the food industry say that a tax on sugary drinks would not be fair on consumers and a group of MPs have warned that this measure alone will not provide a solution to the problem of child obesity. However, a report from the Commons Health Committee called for the government not to ignore the idea of a tax, with MPs urging the government to take into account the issue of a fifth of children starting primary school overweight or obese. The committee also suggested imposing a ban on advertising unhealthy foods on television before 9pm.