Sugar tax decision is a blow to oral health
The UK Government’s dismissal of calls for a sugar tax is a huge loss in the campaign for healthy eating and improvements in oral hygiene according to the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).
The BDHF believes that this decision could mean further suffering to thousands of children across the country, as the Children’s Health Survey shows that sugar related decay remains the number one reason for the hospitalisation of children in the UK.
A petition to introduce a tax on sugary drinks in the UK to improve our children’s health – organised by Chef Jamie Oliver on the back of his sugar rush documentary – was signed by over 140,000 people but was rejected by the government following debate. In their response, the government stated that they had “no plans to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.”
The UK Government has since disappointingly rejected these proposals, a move which is deeply irresponsible and let’s down millions of people across the country
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the BDHF
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the BDHF, explained why he believes the government’s decision is misjudged. Dr Carter said: “The British Dental Health Foundation has strongly supported Mr Oliver’s renewed calls for the introduction of a ‘sugar tax’, with experts believing a tax of just 7p per regular-sized can of soft drink with added sugar could generate £1 billion per year to treat health problems caused by sugar.
“The UK Government has since disappointingly rejected these proposals, a move which is deeply irresponsible and let’s down millions of people across the country.”
Charity, Action on Sugar, has also released data saying that 88 per cent of sugar-sweetened soft drink products contain more than your entire recommendation of the day (25g) in a 330ml can, and UK manufacturers are still producing drinks high in free sugars despite being one of the countries in Europe where obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay are high; figures show that by 2030, an estimated 2.16 billion people will be overweight – of these, 1.12 billion will be obese. They are now calling for all international drink manufacturers to unite in setting sugar reduction targets immediately.