The First Step: Obesity Action Scotland welcomes sugary drinks levy 

We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of a levy on sugary drinks in the Budget. Taxing high sugar products is an important step in tackling Scotland’s
obesity crisis and improving our national diet.

Taxing alone will not be the magic bullet to turn the tide on obesity, so we are calling on the Government to continue their bold action with further measures which will transform our food environment, making the healthy choice the easy choice.

These measures include

  • restricting marketing and advertising to children
  • restricting price promotions
  • reducing sugar and fat content of food
  • improving labelling of products

Scotland has a higher proportion of overweight and obesity than in the other parts of the UK with two out of three Scottish adults being overweight or obese. This presents a growing financial burden to the NHS and the wider economy, making it imperative that further bold action to reduce the number of overweight and obese must be taken now.

The UK Government must now deliver a Childhood Obesity Strategy, due this summer, that is as bold as the announcement we have seen today.

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 of 5%, as recommended by the World Health Organisation. 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: 
“We welcome today's announcement by the Chancellor. We hope this is the first of many bold and brave new initiatives to improve the diet of the people of Scotland. We must ensure the tax is stringent and effective and that the monies raised are invested in effective obesity prevention programmes in Scotland”

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