Sugar tax 'could help prevent millions of UK obesity cases'

19 February 2016

Rates of obesity among people in the UK could be dramatically reduced by introducing a tax on sugary drinks.

This is according to new research from Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum, which indicated that a 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks could reduce obesity rates in the UK by five per cent by 2025.

The estimated figure is the equivalent of 3.7 million fewer obese people nationwide, or roughly the same as the combined populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol and Leicester.

Such a reduction would significantly lower the number of cases of preventable illness and death in the UK, including from cancer, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, and minimise the amount of money spent on healthcare.

Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer prevention, said: "The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous. These numbers make it clear why we need to act now before obesity becomes an even greater problem."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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