1 Dec, 2015

Sugar tax: Is it enough to solve the obesity crisis?

The independent | Chris Askew | 30 November 2015

The Government has come under increasing pressure to implement a tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks to combat rising levels of obesity. The Government agency Public Health England, health campaigners, charities, celebrated TV chef Jamie Oliver, and now a new report from an influential group of MPs on the Health Select Committee have all urged the Government to introduce the tax. 

The tax clearly has wide support, but if it was implemented would it solve the obesity crisis? A reduction in the consumption of sugar would certainly help to improve the nation’s health, and we are all consuming too much of the sweet stuff.

Abstract: But a sugar tax is just one measure and on its own, it wouldn’t be enough to solve the obesity crisis. We need coordinated action and leadership across all areas of government, along with greater regulation of the food and drinks industry to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

Of course as individuals we should all take personal responsibility for our own health, and many people are working hard to improve their health. But we live in an environment that doesn’t always lend itself to making healthy choices, that’s why we want to reset the defaults so that eating well isn’t always hard to do.