Leeds Business School

Sugary drinks tax is working – now it’s time to target cakes, biscuits and snacks

A sugar tax on soft drinks has now been in operation in the UK for more than a year and results so far seem to indicate it’s working. But campaigners say more still needs to be done and that the next target should be biscuits, cakes and snacks –- many of which contain high amounts of sugar.

Such taxes have been implemented in 28 countries and 12 cities as of 2019. Initial results suggest such taxes have the potential to reduce consumption of sugar and so may help to reduce obesity, diabetes and dental decay in the future.

The number of people living with obesity has almost tripled over the past 40 years – and continues to rise. Obesity is increasing most rapidly in low and middle income communities. And this is leading to a dual burden of malnutrition and obseity, when a population has both too much food and not enough of the right foods.

Excess sugar consumption has been linked with increases in obesity and, as a result, the World Health Organisation recommends that people should consume less sugar. Sugary drinks, such as carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, are one of the major sources of dietary sugar, especially for children and adolescents. So they have become a key target for sugar reduction – but more still needs to be done.

Read more here.

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