More truth on soft drinks taxes

Original article published by Beverage Blog - Tuesday 16 April 2019

Since even before Zenith’s research was used by the UK Government to calculate the potential revenue from a new soft drinks industry levy, I have argued that tackling obesity required a range of measures and that taxing soft drinks would have little impact.

At the recent Global Sugar Summit, it seems my views have been borne out by two key authorities including one of the most unlikely.

None other than Professor Graham MacGregor, who founded Action on Sugar and spoke at 2 industry conferences organised by Zenith, has acknowledged:

“The fact is, you wouldn’t expect this to have an effect on obesity. We’ve got to have multiple layers to get calorie intake down in order to deal with it and just having a soft drinks tax is not going to help.”

The highly respected Institute of Economic Affairs added weight with its analysis that “a recorded decline in sugary soft drinks consumption by 50% in the last 15 years had not correlated to a decline in obesity, suggesting that it was the wrong sector for the government to be focusing on.”

Well, knock me down with a feather.

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