Recently there has been a lot of talk around sugar. It has been labelled as the reason for the ‘obesity crisis’ that seems to have taken over the UK. Naturally, the government have been trying to come up with a solution and this has lead to talks of putting a 10-20% tax on sugary foods, particularly sugary drinks.
It is thought that adding a 7p tax to sugary drinks will improve children’s health, but in my opinion I think it’s more to do with the parents than anything else. When I was growing up, fizzy drinks were only allowed at the weekend and even then my parents would only buy the diet or sugar free stuff. When your children start high school it’s harder to have a control over what they eat and drink, but you can still have the less sugary options at home.
Another way to help decrease the amount of sugar we consume is to replace snacks and drinks in vending machines with healthier alternatives. Chocolate bars and packets of sweets could be replaced with low or natural sugar snack bars and packets of sugar free mints. Also, a law could be implemented where companies have to reduce the sugar content of their products by a significant amount.
At the end of the day, if someone wants a Mars bar or a bottle of Coke, they’re going to spend the extra few pence. The only way society is going to get over this ‘obesity crisis’ is if people gain more self control and actively make healthier choices. If anything, reducing the costs of healthier foods would be more effective than a sugar tax ever would be.
If you’re looking for more information on how the sugar tax could be more negative than positive, give this article from The Guardian a read.