Tesco have placed signs explaining why drinks might be a little bit more expensive than usual

The UK have introduced a surcharge on drinks containing a high level of sugar as Britain has the second highest rate of obesity in the world.

On the 6th of April, manufacturers will have to pay a levy on the sugary drinks they sell in the government’s bid to tackle obesity. The UK are joining a small group of countries by introducing tax on sugar. France, Belgium and Mexico are some countries which already have a sugar tax policy in place, pushing consumers towards healthier alternatives.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced the introduction of sugar tax in 2016, eager to get it underway within two years in order to confront obesity in the UK.

Introducing sugar tax is estimated to raise £520 million which will be sent to the Department of Education. The money is then meant to be used to help fund sport in primary schools across the UK.

Some restaurants have already incorporated sugar tax with the popular chain restaurant Nandos leading the way. Nottingham’s All Bar One is a restaurant yet to incorporate sugar tax into their business but still believe there’s ways of reducing sugar, not just in drinks.

Josh Papachristidis, a Chef at All Bar One said that “it’s not just drinks,  quite a few of our sauces are high in salt and sugar content, and we will probably be able to get healthier versions”.

“Fizzy drinks are targeted because food is an essential part of the diet”
Josh Papachristidis, Chef

There has been a significant rise in obesity over the last 3 decades, hower this is not necessarily due to lack of motivation but because advertisers and other large corporations encourage people to eat unhealthily.

A rise in the usage of cars, desk jobs and high calorie foods contributes to this obesity ‘epidemic’, with the UK spending £48 billion a year dealing with health care and social causes related to obesity.

Mr Papachristidis also thinks that “Fizzy drinks are targeted because food is an essential part of the diet but you put things on a menu and people get to choose and so it’s their choice to buy sugary dishes.”

Audio: Chef, Josh Papachristidis speaks more about his view on sugar tax.

The government hope that the introduction of sugar tax will help to tackle and educate the British population of the importance of exercise and the effects of obesity.

There has been mixed feedback from the public surrounding sugar tax, as some think it’ll benefit the nation, whilst others think that we’re not as bad as other countries and should have our own choice on what we buy.

Audio: Public Views

In a report published by the World Health Organisation, the UK has the second highest rate of obesity in the world.

  • In a report published by the World Health Organisation, the UK has the second highest rate of obesity in the world.
  • 24% of men are considered obese in the UK.
  • 26% of women are considered obese in the UK.
  • 1 in 4 British Adults are obese with 62% being classed as overweight.
  • Worldwide, an estimated 300,000 deaths per year are due to obesity.

If you have any questions or want to know anything about obesity please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/treatment/