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Doctors call for 20% tax on sugary soft drinks

Doctors have called on the Government to introduce a 20% tax on non-alcoholic drinks sweetened with sugar.

The BMA suggested some 180,000 people could benefit from being discouraged to buy drinks high in calories and low in nutritional value.

The money raised from the tax could be used to subsidise the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, the BMA went on to propose.

The BMA further called for academies and free schools to be bound by the same strict nutritional regulations as state schools.

Doctors are growing ‘increasingly concerned’ about the effects of poor diets on UK population health with obesity-related illness alone costing the taxpayer £6bn per year, the BMA’s ‘Food for Thought’ report said.

Professor Sheila Hollins, BMA board of science chair, suggested the tax will not only reduce obesity, but will ‘help redress the imbalance’ in the cost of healthy and unhealthy food products.

Professor Hollins said: ‘If a tax of at least 20 per cent is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • It's good to see that the BMA, having solved the recruitment crisis, pay cut issues and eroding of our terms and conditions, now has the time to devote to this.

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  • If I had the time or money I would rejoin the Bma just so I could leave in protest again.
    This organisation is making itself more irrelevant with each press release.

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  • A can of fizzy pop can be bought for less than 50p. Adding 20% tax will increase it to 60p/can.

    Year, that 10p difference will really make the nation slimmer. Not.

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  • Vinci Ho

    This needs a change in culture instead.
    I suggest academics need to go out to talk to layman people to see how certain common behaviour can be changed .....

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  • Finally, the BMA has made a difference:) The headlines actually read - 'If your sugary foods are 20% costlier, it's your Doctors who is to blame' - though the government coffers are filling.

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  • It doesn't matter. Its no more than introducing VAT on these sugary drinks. Most people already pay a lot of VAT on almost anything and everything.

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  • Paternalistic nonsense .

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