Natalie Bennett endorses BMA’s call for sugary drinks tax

By   July 14, 2015



A new BMA report attempts to set out practical ways of tackling the growing problem of diet-related illnesses. Suggestions include:

  • A tax on sugar
  • Aggressive marketing in the form of a mandatory, standardised approach based on the ‘traffic light’ system of colour coding, and unambiguous words such as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ to describe nutritional content
  • An end to the sale of all unhealthy food and drink products in all NHS hospitals across the UK
  • Local authorities given greater licensing powers to limit the number and over-concentration of fast-food outlets locally
  • A ban on trans fats so that within a year, no food or drink containing trans fats should be sold
  • Reduction in salt levels by 2017
  • By 2020 a UK-wide target to reduce calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar levels in a range of products

Responding to the BMA’s call for a 20% tax on sugary drinks to fund cheap fruit and vegetables, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said:

“I welcome this call from the BMA, which reflects the element of the Green Party general election manifesto which called for a tax on unhealthy foods with the income to be used for reducing the cost of healthier options.

“Obesity is a global health crisis, and a huge cause of suffering and NHS costs in Britain, which needs to be tackled. This is an equality issue, as well as a food issue: our industrial food system, dominated by the supermarkets, has failed to deliver a healthy diet people can afford, and it is low income households that are of course suffering worst from this.

“Mexico and Berkley, California are two places around the world following a similar course to the one suggested by the BMA, and with early reports of good results from Mexico I would urge the government to seriously consider these proposals.”

The full report from the BMA can be found here.

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