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Sugar: Taxation

Question for HM Treasury

UIN HL7177, tabled on 17 March 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the comments of Chief Executive NHS England, in response to the sugar tax announcement in the budget, that "sadly soft drinks are now our children’s largest single source of diabetes-inducing teeth-rotting excess sugar."

Answered on

4 April 2016

The evidence behind the comments from Simon Stevens, Chief Executive NHS England, comes from the Public Health England report ‘Sugar reduction: the evidence for action’ published in October 2015.

The PHE report states that soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children and teenagers in England, and that consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It is also linked to tooth decay.

This is why at Budget 2016, the Chancellor announced a new levy aimed at the producers and importers of added sugar soft drinks. The levy is designed to encourage companies to reduce the amount of added sugar in soft drinks and move consumers towards healthier choices. The levy will from part of a wider comprehensive childhood obesity strategy which the government launch in the summer.

Answered by

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.