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FPH warmly welcomes new sugar tax

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced in today's Budget that a levy on sugary drinks will be introduced in 2018. Professor John R Ashton CBE, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH), said: "FPH warmly welcomes the Chancellor's announcement of the introduction of a 'sugar levy' on soft drinks.

"This will come in to force in 2018, with the funds raised used to help support school sport. This levy is a very welcome and significant step in the right direction. It is a strong and symbolic tool for helping to reduce the levels of sugar in our diets.

"This measure is supported by a majority of the public and sends a clear signal to industry that the public's health is a key part of the economic recovery. FPH congratulates the government for accepting the strong, evidence-based argument that this will have a positive effect on the lives of the population. Today's announcement, which we called for in our 2014 manifesto, should encourage everyone who campaigns to improve health that it is possible to influence government policy.

"Today's announcement is a significant moment for our health, because one in three children and two in three adults in the UK are obese or overweight. The average child consumes over 100 calories a day from sugar sweetened drinks, representing one tenth of their entire daily intake. Regular consumption of sugary drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and rotten teeth.
"We now look forward to the launch of a national children's obesity prevention strategy that will provide a comprehensive, evidence-based approach later this year."

Written: 16/03/2016 , last modified: 19/08/2016