Sugary drinks tax ‘will benefit children most’

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The health of children will benefit most from the sugar tax on the UK soft drinks industry, according to a study.

It predicted if sugar was cut in the sweetest drinks in response to the tax, levels of tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes would fall, particularly among the high-consumption under-18s.

Researchers said the overall effect of the tax – due to start in April 2018 – would be modest but significant.

Soft drinks firms say there is no evidence a tax would cut obesity.

The tax will be applied depending on the sugar content of drinks, so there will be no tax on diet drinks, a lower tax on mid-sugar drinks and a higher tax on high-sugar drinks.

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates the levy could add 18p to 24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.

This amounts to an extra 6p on a regular can of Fanta and Sprite, and an extra 8p on a regular can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Irn-Bru.

The study, published in the Lancet Public Health Journal, modelled different ways that the soft drinks industry could respond to the tax and then estimated what the likely impact would be on the health of the UK population.

Read full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38330114

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