26 Oct, 2015

Cameron under pressure as public backs sugar tax

David Cameron is facing renewed demands to embrace a sugar tax to tackle Britain’s growing obesity crisis after a new poll found more than half of voters backed the idea.

Support for a levy on sugary drinks and food is now running at 53%, according to the findings, shared with the Observer, of a representative sample* of more than 2,000 people. ComRes asked them: “To what extent do you support or oppose the introduction of taxes on unhealthy food and drinks to improve child health?”

The poll comes at the end of a week in which the government’s health advisers recommended urgent adoption of a sugar tax, but the prime minister made clear his strong opposition to it. The disclosure that a majority favour such a move, even though it would increase the cost of many soft drinks and sweet foods, has prompted senior doctors to urge Cameron to include it in his forthcoming strategy to tackle childhood obesity.