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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The war on sugar part two

Following on from my previous comments on the corrosive and dangerous impact of sugar on our health, I was interested to read this piece in today's Telegraph where they report on a new initiative being taken by Public Health England to reduce sugar in food and drink.

Amongst the options they have advanced in a new report are a tax on fizzy drinks, government targets to reduce sugar and advertising restrictions on processed foods:

The Telegraph say that the paper, which was discussed at a meeting between the quango and industry representatives this month, warns that coronary heart disease, strokes and cancer are the UK’s “leading killers”, partly driven by high blood pressure and excess weight, both of which have been linked to high sugar consumption.

They add that the “favoured options” among experts and campaigners at the Public Health England summit were for a triple approach of a tax, targets, and banning or severely limiting advertisements of ultra-processed foods. Campaigners believe that the threat of a tax could force the industry to accept targets.

A tax on fizzy drinks was of course proposed by Plaid Cymru. It is a policy which is well worth considering. Their problem was that the Welsh Assembly does not have the power to introduce it, whilst the proposal to use the proceeds to fund a specific commitment in the NHS was unsustainable because of the uncertain revenue returns from such a tax.

If the UK Government were to go down that route though, we could all benefit through healthier food options and better health.
We badly need to regulate sugar content in processed foods and soda drinks. Diabetes II is exploding - and it is preventable but for regs to stop the manufactures adding too much sugar to our foods.
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