In an effort to combat rising levels of obesity among the poorest sections of society, the United Kingdom has followed Norway, France and Mexico to become the latest country to impose a sugar tax on soft drinks, with British soft drinks manufacturers being taxed on high-sugar products. Some big brands have already taken steps to reduce the amount of sugar in their products ahead of it taking effect (hitting the worst culprits in their wallets appears to be a somewhat effective approach).
Funds raised by the sugar tax will be diverted into school sports, the Government insists. The tax is aimed at reducing the consumption of such drinks and levels of obesity, particularly among children.
In a fantastic news for health campaigners, the UK's first ever sugar tax comes into force today.
"The Soft Drinks Levy is one part of our plan to tackle childhood obesity". Meanwhile, gin and tonic lovers will see a small price rise on their favourite tipple, as Fever Tree Indian tonic water contains more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. With the tax mostly on all the fizzy drinks, the pure fruit juices and milkshakes based drinks will comparatively sell higher as these do not have added sugar.
This equates to additional £0.18 per litre for drinks with 5g or more of sugar per 100ml, while drinks with more than 8g per 100ml will face a tax rate of £0.24 per litre.
However, you won't have to pay extra if the drink contains at least 75% milk though, so. there's that.
A spokesman for the drink's maker A.G. Barr said: "Irn-Bru continues to be made using the same secret Irn-Bru flavour essence, but with less sugar".
Coca-Cola chose not to reformulate Coca-Cola Classic, the UK's most popular branded soft drink, and prices are expected to increase as a result. They also discovered sugar taxes will most improve the health of the poorest, who are more affected by non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, which are affected by diet (The Telegraph).
More than 60,000 children had teeth extracted in hospital past year - the equivalent to 141 operations a day.
According to United Kingdom government figures, 60 per cent of the United Kingdom population is overweight, with approximately one in-four people obese, and sugary soft drinks account for around 20 per cent of the sugar consumed by children.
This storm system would pull in some warmer air with highs in the 50s and, at this time, only rain showers are expected. We will need to watch for a changeover from rain to sleet/snow by late afternoon and evening as the temperatures drop.
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