In the News: No to “Sugar Tax”!
Sugar tax is ruled out by Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, ahead of major reports on Britain's sweet tooth.
Ministers have ruled out introducing a “sugar tax” on unhealthy snacks ahead of two major Government reports on the issue.
Under current rules, products labelled as “low fat” may have high sugar or salt content. In fact, many low fat foods promoted as healthy-eating options contain more sugar than their “full fat” equivalents - in some cases more than five times as much.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) will soon be publishing recommendations on how to encourage the public to cut levels of sugar in everyday food. It will coincide with the release of a report by Public Health England on the same issue, which will set out a range of options, including taxes on sugary foods, government targets to reduce sugar and increased restrictions on advertisements for processed foods.
The publications follow rising concern that sugar is one of the greatest threats to health, creating an obesity time bomb and contributing to spiraling levels of diabetes.
In draft versions, two of the main proposals are a tax to increase prices of sugar products and to introduce targets to cut sugar levels. Mr. Hunt said that new measures are needed to tackle childhood obesity, which he said remains “much too high” – but that taxes on fizzy drinks and foods loaded with sugar were not part of the strategy.
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