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U-turn on sugar tax in the UK? Health authorities hold their breath as Truss considers scrapping soft drink tax


September 20, 2022 – British Prime Minister Liz Truss is facing mounting pressure not to abolish the sugar tax on soft drinks that has been in place for several years and keep previously put health food strategies on track.

According to health groups, rolling back dietary nutrition policies could lead to an increase in obesity and, most importantly, any money raised from Britain’s sugar tax over the past four years, will be spent on funding obesity-related treatment across the NHS.

It would be a radical departure from a return to the politics that had the support of the parliamentary majority when it was passed. [Truss] Kathryn Jenner, director of the Obesity Health Alliance says: food ingredients.

She continues, “It will present its lawmakers, the vast majority of whom support the tax, a choice to either accept the move or rebel against a set of measures that include vital help with energy bills.”

successful tax?
Jenner points out that the UK sugar tax has so far been one of the few policies beneficial to business, health and government through tax revenue.

“The tax has already removed 48 million kilograms of sugar from the country’s diets through reformulation but has not had a negative impact on business. Retail sales of soft drinks grew another 5.6% in 2021 to reach £3.39 billion ($3.87 billion). American), says Barbara Crowther, Baby Food Campaign coordinator.

Taxes on sugar are also a source of income for the British government, raising £301 million (US$344 million) for the 2020 to 2021 financial year, compared to £337 million (US$386 million) in the previous financial year (2019 to 2020). and £240 million (US$275 million) from 2018 to 2019.

The shift in food policy could lead to growing disparities and an increase in the country’s already high levels of obesity.The government in turn
The sugar tax helped reduce sugar intake in soft drinks by 30%. Helping reduce “empty calories” from soft drinks, increasing levels of obesity and poor dental health, according to the Obesity Health Alliance.

“It is dangerous to go from having an insufficient strategy to having no strategy at all. This shift by the government will not only delay the already urgent intervention in the UK public health crisis, but will also waste the significant investment that has so far been spent on The 2021 National Food Strategy, which sought to tackle obesity and the fast-food cycle, health disparities and access to real whole foods,” adds the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT).

Currently, the tax applies to drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100ml and is charged at 18p ($0.21) per liter, while those with eight or more grams of sugar per 100ml are subject to an additional tax. 24p ($0.27) per liter.

The woes of the state nanny
Truss launched his campaign with a “No New Taxes” message, vowing not to make plans to restrict multiple buy deals to foods and drinks high in sugar, salt and fat.

“[People] You don’t want the government telling them what to eat,” she highlighted in her campaign to become leader of the UK Conservative Party.

She has previously stated that “taxes on bonuses hit the lower income earners” and that people should be “free to choose” what they consume and have “the beautiful freedom,” as she praises her personal responsibility.

Truss’ attempts to cut the sugar tax are seen as an attempt to help the UK’s cost of living crisis, where inflation is rampant, reaching 9.9% in August – 13.1% for food inflation. Tax scrap would also help reduce red tape for companies in an effort to stimulate economic growth.

Sugar and obesity taxes affect the poor disproportionately; Supporters argue that it helps pay for breakfast programs and sports initiatives in schools in poor areas. And that the real cash benefit comes from a reduced health care bill.

“Fast food does nothing to relieve hunger in families who struggle to put food on the table. In fact, research shows that ultra-processed foods impair appetite control and make people feel hungry, which exacerbates the problem and ultimately causes people to spend the money they They don’t have it on food, or worse,’ says Sato Jackson, CEO of Pant.

“More than 2,000 school breakfast clubs, school holiday programs to feed 1 million children, PE for primary schools and sports equipment have been funded as a result of the £300 million (US$343 million) raised each year by the successful soft drink maker Levy,” adds Crowther.

Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of Action on Effective Sugar and Salt, has put £100 billion (US$115 million) a year on the costs of unhealthy diets in the UK.

Paralyzed work on sugarTruss’ attempts to cut the sugar tax are seen as an attempt to help tackle the UK’s cost of living crisis.
A long-awaited British report on its war on sugar has yet to be published, much to the chagrin of campaign groups. The report, which had to be published a year ago, has been pushed back until this fall, but it hasn’t made it to the public yet.

Moreover, the UK’s food strategy towards healthy foods and reducing sugar was in a state of paralysis as former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson feared new taxes would drive up the cost of food.

“This shameful decision will greatly affect the NHS and the health of the nation, which will suffer the consequences and the increasing cost of treating obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay,” MacGregor noted.

Experts sound the alarm
The shift in food policy may lead to growing disparities in the diet and an increase in the country’s already high levels of obesity.

Dr Sally Moore, Professor at the University of Leeds, said: food ingredients That a change of plans by Truss management would delay “a much-needed transformation of UK retail environments.”

“Current levels of obesity in the UK are unacceptably high, and the amount of saturated fats, sugars and salt we eat exceeds the recommended limit for health,” stresses Moore.

“Obesity measures are designed to make it easier for companies to do the right thing, ensuring that competitors’ satirical content doesn’t lose out on profit from sickening customers. Turning them now will undermine the hard work of progressive companies and waste millions of pounds that are already under way,” concluded Ben Reynolds, Executive Vice President of Systenb. Invest in making their products and shopping environments healthier.

Written by Mark Cervera

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