Obesity Action Scotland Calls for a Sugar Tax

A group of leading experts has urged Scottish MPs to insist that Prime Minister David Cameron implements a UK wide sugar tax.
The call comes as the UK Parliament debates Jamie Oliver’s recent petition to introduce a tax on sugary drinks.

A recent survey found that 54% of Scottish adults would be happy to see unhealthy foods taxed in order to decrease the price of healthy foods.
Today (30th November 2015) the UK Parliament will debate Jamie Oliver’s recent petition to introduce a tax on sugary drinks and we would urge all Scottish MPs to insist that David Cameron changes his mind and implements a UK wide sugar tax.

Rates of overweight and obesity in Scotland are higher than in the other parts of the UK. In the adult population two out of three Scottish adults are overweight or obese. This brings health consequences and costs to the NHS and the wider economy. Action to turn the tide on rates of overweight and obesity needs to be taken now.

Obesity Action Scotland says this is why Scottish MPs must urge the UK Government to take bold and brave decisions to put the public health of the UK population first.

In Scotland, more than 14% of adults and nearly 16% of children’s daily energy intake comes from sugar. This is three times the recommended daily intake (5%). Reducing our overconsumption of sugar is a significant challenge that will take more than educational messages. A sugar tax as part of a wider package of measures including restricting marketing and promotions, reformulation to reduce sugar and fat content and improving labelling across retail and out of home could be an important step in shifting the dietary patterns of the population.
Recent modelling work predicted that a 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks would reduce the number of obese people in Scotland by 15,200 and a reduction in those overweight and obese of 27,400.

Programme Lead for Obesity Action Scotland Lorraine Tulloch said:
“Today provides a significant opportunity for Scottish MPs to positively influence the UK population’s health by urging the UK Government to take steps to include a UK wide sugar tax in their forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy”

Read the briefing issued to MPs.

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