Time to tax the fizz?

The British Dental Health Foundation has joined more than 60 organisations backing recommendations for a tax on sugary drinks.

The report, compiled by Sustain entitled ‘A Children’s Future Fund – How food duties could provide the money to protect children’s health and the world they grow up in’, makes three main recommendations for Budget 2013 it believes would help to improve children’s health. They are:

1. Introduce a sugary drinks duty for the UK that, for example at 20p per litre, would raise around £1 billion a year

2. Ring-fence the majority of money raised from a sugary drinks duty for a Children’s Future Fund, which could be spent on improving children’s health by, for example, providing free school meals, or sustainably produced fruit and vegetable snacks in schools

3. Give an independent body the responsibility to oversee how the sugary drinks duty is implemented and make sure the revenue is spent effectively.

As well as combatting the growing obesity epidemic, successful implementation of the recommendations would greatly benefit the oral health of children today and those in future generations.

Chief executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter said: ‘The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in children. By proposing a duty on sugary drinks there will be an inevitable reduction in consumption and benefits for both general and dental health.’

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