Tax on Sugary Drinks

Yesterday it was announced that a tax on sugary drinks will be introduced, this news will have one naked chef jumping for joy!  The amount of tax will depend on the sugar content of the drinks with a greater total sugar content resulting in more tax.  The tax will be imposed in two years time which provides manufacturers with time to reduce the sugar content of their drinks. In recent years sugar has replaced fat as the main contributor to the obesity epidemic and the introduction of tax on sugary drinks confirms this shift.

What's so bad about sugar?

The reason sugar has risen to the forefront is that its excessive consumption leads to weight gain and obesity. With obesity comes a whole host of health issues including the increased risk of:

  •     - Type 2 Diabetes
  •     - Cardiovascular Disease
  •     - High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

The reason sugar can lead to obesity is that a high sugar intake often leads to an over-consumption of calories, which if not burned off are stored as fat. Drinking sugary drinks is an easy way of increasing your sugar intake without realising. A can of coke for example contains around 35g of sugar. With 70g of sugar being the guideline for men, 50g for women and around 30g for kids 11+, consuming one or more cans of fizzy drink a day will mean you’re soon exceeding these guidelines. That's without even taking into account that cream cake you had!

The consumption of sugary drinks should therefore be limited. However there is nothing wrong with occasionally drinking a half pint of coke when you’ve found yourself being the designated driver or your kids having a can of pop when at a friends party. Regular consumption however should be avoided as these drinks are just a source of what is referred to as ‘empty calories’. This means that they are purely a source of calories/sugar and don’t provide us with anything else in terms of nutritional value.