5 News

Tax on sugary drinks could help fix obesity crisis, say researchers

Adding 20% to the price would cut the number of obese adults dramatically, it is claimed.

Sugary drink

A tax on sugary drinks could help fix the UK's obesity crisis, a new study has suggested.

Leyla Hayes reports:

According to researchers writing in the prestigious British Medical Journal, adding 20% on to the price would cut the number of obese adults by nearly 200,000.

They claim it would also raise tens of millions of pounds.

Dr Oliver Mytton from Oxford University said: “Younger adults and children consume much greater quantities of sugary drinks.

“This is a concern for their health, not only in terms of diabetes and obesity, but also tooth decay.

“Our work suggests that a sugary drinks tax would have a much greater impact in terms of reducing obesity in younger adults.”

Critics have claimed the move would be would be “undeliverable” and instead urged action to be taken on aggressive marketing.

We debated the idea with Stephanie Liss, from the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Professor Alan Maryon-Davis of the Faculty of Public Health.

- NewsTalk Live debate: