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Tax ’em till their sweet tooth falls out. Will it work?

The UK Commons Health Committee have suggested this week that they would support a tax  on sugary drinks as there is now “compelling evidence” this, along with crackdowns on marketing and advertising, would reduce consumption. The government has said that the tax is part of a range of “bold and urgent” measures to tackle childhood obesity. Unsurprisingly, food industry representatives argue that the tax disproportionately affects the availability of choice for poorer families. The committee report points to success in Mexico, which saw a 6% reduction in consumption after introducing the tax and an increase in water consumption. Opponents highlight the failed attempts in Denmark and California (which have closer consumption patterns to the UK). The ‘fizzy drink tax’ is not a new debate.

As far back as February 2013 wour friends at ANH International ( a great organisation!) published an article outlining a combination of measures to combat childhood obesity with 10 practical action points at the end.

These action points have not changed in 2-years, but increasing evidence suggests that that sedentary lifestyles in children (and adults) can damage blood vessels. As well as lowering sugar consumption, getting kids active has to be a number 1 goal in any anti-obesity campaign.

Ian: It is SO like smoking, isn’t it! And all government can do is up the tax (have you seen the price of cigarettes now?) and publish nasty pictures. Ah! maybe that’s it! But.. will the kids regardless of all these measures, still opt for the white powder alternative? After all, they are already addicts.

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