Public Health England backs Jamie Oliver’s sugary drinks tax

Public Health England backs Jamie Oliver’s sugary drinks tax
23/10/2015 - 09:37
A review published yesterday by Public Health England has suggested that an increase in the price of sugary food, through a tax or a levy, could work as a means of reducing sugar intake.

Jamie Oliver and Sustain have been campaigning for the introduction of a sugary drinks tax. A petition has gathered almost 150,000 signatures to date, but the government response to this petition outlined that there are no plans to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Also, the government body admitted in its review that this measure is likely to be less effective than the other three it suggested.

The evidence review shows that action to reduce sugar consumption levels could include, reducing; the volume and number of price promotions at restaurants; the marketing and advertising of high sugar products to children; and the sugar content in and portion size of everyday food and drink products.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “PHE’s evidence review shows there is no silver bullet solution to the nation’s bad sugar habit.

“A broad and balanced approach is our best chance of reducing sugar consumption to healthier levels and to see fewer people suffering the consequences of too much sugar in the diet.

“We’ve shared out findings with the Government and are working with them on its childhood obesity strategy.

Public Health England also recommended setting a clear definition of high sugar foods; adopting the government buying standards for foods and catering services; delivering accredited training on diet and health to all who work in catering, fitness and leisure sectors; and continuing to raise awareness of practical steps to reduce sugar consumption.

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