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MPs back GPs' call for tax on sugary drinks and foods

The House of Commons Health Committee has called on the Government to introduce a 20% tax on sugary drinks and foods, with the proceeds to go towards research into better interventions to curb childhood obesity.

The committee said that that revenues raised should be targeted towards areas that are most affected by childhood obesity, but added that further research is needed into treatment.

It also heard evidence to say that ’primary care professionals must be trained and equipped with the resources to treat childhood overweight’.

A Public Health England report recently said a minimum 10-20% tax should be introduced on sugary drinks and foods, and a Pulse investigation showed that seven out of ten GPs back such a measure.

The health committee’s report, published today, said: ’We… support PHE’s recommendation for a tax on full sugar soft drinks, and recommend that it be introduced at a rate of 20% to maximise its impact on purchasing and help to change behaviour.’

Its report, which comes as the Government is preparing its childhood obesity strategy, concluded that the revenues raised ’should be targeted to deliver the most help to communities where children are most severely affected by childhood obesity’, because children in deprived areas are more likely to suffer.

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