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Introduction of a sugary drinks tax in UK

18 / 03 / 16

Research is limited on how effective a soft drink tax would be on reducing a person's total energy intake and the overall effect on obesity.

Studies from some countries suggest that purchase of soft drinks would fall following introduction of a tax. However whether this results in people actually consuming less kilojoules and being better off health-wise is unknown.

It is important to remember that any drop in energy intake that might result is likely to be compensated for by increased energy intake from other sources. Also if you remove sugar from the diet, these kilojoules have been reported to be replaced in part or totally by fat, an effect known as the 'sugar-fat seesaw'.

Obesity is a complex issue and solutions should be based on solid scientific evidence that can demonstrate a clear benefit for public health.

Further reading

  1. Colchero et al (2015) Beverage purchases from stores in Mexico under the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages: observational study. BMJ 352:h6704 doi:10.1136/bmj.h6704
  2. Sadler et al (2015) Sugar-fat seesaw: a systematic review of the evidence. Crit Rev food Sci Nutr 55:338-356.

NEXT: Sugar: Obesity smoking gun or just part of the problem

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