Five Reasons Why I Support Sugar Tax
Introducing a sugar tax is a bit of a hot topic at the moment. There are people who feel upset about the their enjoyment of sugar being brought down by a Sugar Tax levy. There has been outrage on poll feeds and social media. While I understand why people might feel upset about this I’d like to address here why I actually support the sugar tax proposal and am behind the Children’s Health Fund movement, set up by Jamie Oliver and Sustain. They have shown that there is great concern for the health of children and successfully managed to get the issue discussed in parliament by way of signed petitions from the public.
- Sugar Tax is not a tax on all sugar! The levy is aimed at sugary drinks of which many children consume in excessive amounts. There is over 9 teaspoons of sugar in just one can of coke, well over the entire daily recommended intake of sugar intake in just one drink. This is not healthy for anyone, but it’s particularly concerning in children because they are consuming over 1/3rd of their sugar intake through these drinks. Sugary drinks don’t make you feel full, so it’s easy to over consume and put on weight.
- Childhood obesity is a serious concern and problem in Britain today. It is estimated that one in every five children between the ages of 10 and 11 years old are considered medically obese. Not only are the children of today facing a life time of disease such as diabetes and illnesses caused from being over weight, they will surely all be put into early graves.
- Save The NHS. The strain this added pressure from our growing population of obese people puts on an already buckling NHS system is profound. Despite the NHS not working as well as it might, I fear we are all rather quick to complain and guilty of taking the health care it provides for granted. I for one do not want to see the collapse of our precious FREE health care system.
- Education Paid For With Sugar Tax. The money raised from taxes collected could be used to help better educate children and adults about their health and diet. It could be used to fund activities through local councils and schemes to improve fitness levels and wellbeing. It could also be used to fund increased budgets for sports, physical education and cookery classes in schools, all of which have seen huge cuts in funding.
- It works! Sugar levies have been introduced in France, Mexico, Hungary and Berkeley California with success. For example in Mexico they saw a 6% reduction in sales of sugary drinks since January 2014 when the tax was imposed. Studies showed that people who swapped to a no added sugar or lower sugar alternative did not make up the sugar and calories elsewhere in their diet.
It’s time to take action. Jamie Oliver’s restaurants now adds a levy to all soft drinks with added sugar, the movement hopes to encourage more restaurants to follow suit encouraging people to make healthier choices. Funds raised will go into a specially created Children’s Health Fund to support initiatives around food education for children, and similar health initiatives. The levy is about raising money, but also about raising awareness of what sugary drinks do to our bodies.
Of course we should all be free to choose what we eat and drink but education is vital to helping us make the right and better choices more often from an early age and choosing the healthier option should not be more expensive, which it sadly often is.