Fizzy drinks tax helped us cut our sugar intake by 10% a year

Fizzy drinks tax helped us cut our sugar intake by 10% a year after it was introduced as experts hail the policy as a ‘win-win’

  • Findings from a study by the University of Cambridge found tax was effective 
  • Shoppers used healthier alternatives to full-fat fizzy drinks after sugar tax
  • Households found to have consumed ten per cent less sugar from soft drinks 

Households consumed 10 per cent less sugar from soft drinks the year after the sugar tax was introduced in a major ‘win-win’ for public health.

The findings, from a study by the University of Cambridge, showed that although sugar consumption fell, the overall volume of soft drinks sold did not.

Instead, shoppers used healthier alternatives or continued to buy drinks that were reformulated to contain less sugar.

The findings, from a study by the University of Cambridge, showed that although sugar consumption fell, the overall volume of soft drinks sold did not (file image)

The sugar tax, which came into force in April 2018, charged manufacturers 18p a litre if soft drinks contained more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, or 24p for 8g of sugar.

The Government and health campaigners hoped the price hike would put people off buying the most sugary drinks and lead to a decline in obesity.

The sugar tax, which came into force in April 2018, charged manufacturers 18p a litre if soft drinks contained more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, or 24p for 8g of sugar (file image)

Professor Martin White, from Cambridge’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research (Cedar), said: ‘[The levy] represents a valuable win-win for public health and the food industry – potentially improving people’s health with no detrimental effect on the volume of soft drinks that companies are selling.’

Dr David Pell, also from Cedar, added that the 10 per cent reduction – equivalent to three fewer teaspoons per person per week – could have ‘important impacts’ on the number of people affected by diabetes and obesity. 

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