Sugar Tax

This week the tax on sugary drinks announced by George Osborne in Wednesday’s Budget. The sugar tax will be levied from 2018, which the government says will give manufacturers time to change their products.

The estimated £520m raised by the sugar levy will be put towards boosting primary school sports.

Public Health England have called on parents and families to cut sugary drinks from their children’s daily diet, after independent nutrition experts say the country consumes too much sugar, leading to health consequences such as tooth decay.

Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. The bacteria that form together to become plaque use sugar as a form of energy. They multiply faster and the plaque grows in size and thickness. Some of the bacteria turn the sugar into a kind of glue that they use to stick themselves to the tooth surface. This makes it harder for the bacteria to get washed away with your saliva.

Figures from the national diet and nutrition survey, referenced in the SACN report, found sugary drinks to be the highest contributor of sugars to the diet of 4 to 10 year olds.

They consume:

  • 30% from soft drinks and fruit juice

  • 29% mainly from biscuits, cakes and breakfast cereals

  • 22% from sweets, chocolate, table sugar, jams and other sweet spreads

  • 12% from yoghurts, fromage frais, ice-cream, and other dairy desserts

Watch ‘how humans drink sugar’ which highlights to quantity of sugar added to drinks: