Government's sugar tax comes into force

Coca Cola

Health taxes 'can reduce consumption' of harmful products among the poor

Various supermarkets have reformulated their own-label soft drinks to come below the threshold of the levy.

Drinks which have more than 8g of sugar per 100ml are to be taxed with a rate equivalent to 24p for each litre, the BBC reported.

The UK government opted to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2016 - but the two-year grace period means that the country will begin enforcing the policy on 6 April.

Shortly after the 2016 announcement, Lucozade Ribena Suntory launched Lucozade Zero in the United Kingdom, citing "the nation's changing health agenda".

When the company revealed the change there was uproar, and people were reportedly stockpiling the drink before the tax kicked in. The revenue generated will be put into the Primary Sports Premium, the creation of a Healthy Pupils Capital Fund to help schools upgrade their sports facilities, and give children access to top quality PE equipment. While the levy on high-sugar drinks is a response to the obesity crisis - 20% of children in the previous year of primary school in England are now obese - there is huge concern about children's teeth as well.

In New York, the Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule was a controversial proposed limit on soft drink portions which was heavily supported by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.

Red Bull, which contains 11g of sugar, will also be subject to the higher tax.

Leading brands in the United Kingdom, such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade, have cut the sugar content of drinks. Many argue that having a Coke or whatever other sugary drink is a personal choice and shouldn't be taxed - however, similar taxes have always been applied to alcohol and tobacco (among others) in most parts of the world. Not least of all, sugar is typically present in large quantities in sugary drinks, and, as a result, sugary drinks are one of the main drivers for obesity in several countries. The vast majority of our drinkers want to consume less sugar so that's what we're now offering.

'As that has happened, obesity rates have continued to rise'.

"Research shows how negatively sugar affects the liver for instance, and the knock-on effects of too much sugar are known to raise risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and many other health problems that have become so common". It is the most common reason for children aged 5 to 9 to be admitted to hospital, causing 60,000 missed days of school each year.

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