Doctors call for 'sugar tax'

Cinnamon and Sugar Mini Donuts-Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera

Doctors in the UK are calling for a tax on sugary food and drinks to help halt the "obesity epidemic". The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said that a tax on such foods would help to pay for the healthcare costs associated with obesity.

According to Simon Capewell, Liverpool University chair of clinical epidemiology, Mexico introduced a 10% sugary drinks tax which contributed to a 10% drop in consumption. Other countries to have brought in sugar taxes include the USA, Finland, France, Hungary and Latvia.

He said: "The revenues raised can then be invested back into initiatives to increase children's health in these countries, as is happening in Mexico.

"Scotland has an excellent track record in addressing public health issues. Notable achievements include smoke-free public places and proposals for minimum unit pricing for alcohol. We need to explore how these developments could be repeated with sugary drinks."

The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) have argued that the case is "not compelling" enough to introduce a tax. Gavin Partington, BSDA director general, said: "The efforts by soft drinks companies including product reformulation, smaller pack sizes and increased promotion of low and no-calorie drinks have led to a 7% reduction in calories from soft drinks in the last three years.

"It's also worth noting that politicians in Belgium and Denmark rejected the notion of a tax in 2013 and the experience in France shows that while sales of soft drinks initially fell after a tax was introduced in 2012, they have increased since."

The Dangers of Sugar: Hidden Sugar and Ways to Cut Back