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Debate on sugar tax shows need for set of measures

Professor Dame Sally Davies gave evidence to the Commons Health Select Committee yesterday during an oral evidence session on Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health.

Responding to her comments about a sugar tax, Professor John Ashton, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:

"We welcome the Chief Medical Officer’s comments about the potential need for a sugar tax. There is no easy way of tackling obesity: if it were as simple as telling people to eat less and move more, we’d have cracked it by now. This is a complex problem that is not about blaming individuals but about changing our environment too.
"We cannot leave food policy to be controlled by industry: we need the government to take action on obesity, in the way it has done recently to protect children from smoke in cars. That’s why FPH supports the introduction of a 20% levy on sugary drinks, which have no nutritional value.

"This is one of a set of measures that need to be taken, such as having greater controls on advertising to children, domestic science in schools for boys and girls as well as support for local food production including allotments and farmers markets. There are no magic bullets but this is one specific measure which is needed."

Written: 05/03/2014 , last modified: 06/05/2014