All about 'Sugar tax 2018' which comes into force today

Posted April 08, 2018

"In Mexico, the introduction of a soft drinks tax resulted in an average of 4.2 litres less of soft drinks purchased per person, with a 17% decrease in purchases among lower income groups, and nearly no change in higher income groups".

'We were reformulating our drinks to reduce their sugar content for many years before the tax was announced, we've done 34 reformulations since 2005, and there is ample data which shows that the sugar people consume from soft drinks has declined significantly over the last decade and continues to do so.

Britain on Friday joined France, Norway and Mexico in rolling out a sugar tax on soft drinks in an attempt to tackle obesity and tooth decay in children.

Funds raised by the sugar tax will be diverted into school sports, the Government insists. So do sugar taxes work? Here are its key takeaways. It prompted some global soft drink companies, such as the manufacturer of the Scottish-revered Irn Bru, to change their recipes to dodge the tax.

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It said: "Increased taxes on unhealthy products will therefore affect a larger number of high-income households than low-income households, meaning that the revenues generated by taxes will come disproportionately from high income households".

I don't know what the scale of sugar tax avoidance is likely to be, it really depends on how it is sold and the routes to market.

In January, the Australian Medical Association urged the government to introduce a tax "as a matter of priority" to cut down on consumption levels.

MailOnline has today broken down what the sugar tax means to consumers - calculating roughly how much prices will go up.

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Companies will have to pay 18p per litre of drink if the product contains more than 5g of sugar per 100 millilitres and 24p per litre if it contains 8g of sugar per 100 millilitres.

The price rise won't be applied to pure fruit juice or drinks that contain at least 75 per cent milk, so many ready-prepared milkshakes and coffee drink will be exempt from the tax. The reason given for the former is because they do not carry added sugar and the latter due to their calcium content. "The levy is a ground-breaking policy that will help to reduce sugar intake", said Public Health Minister Steve Brine. It's also worth noting that Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke wouldn't be affected by the levy. Similarly, he mentioned that the government would consider implementing a similar tax on candies and chocolate, if they felt it was a necessary step towards encouraging healthier recipes. But in 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Board of Health had exceeded its regulatory authority in adopting the regulation. There's also intriguing research to suggest that carbonation can lead to spikes in appetite, leading us to seek out extra calories from elsewhere.

The introduction of the levy means the United Kingdom joins a few countries, including Mexico, France and Norway, have introduced similar taxes. From stress to the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and high sugar foods, there are several pieces to solving this particularly complex puzzle.

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