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WHO calls for tax on sugary drinks to tackle child obesity

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i475 (Published 25 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i475
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Governments around the world are being urged to bring in a tax on sugar sweetened drinks in a bid to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.

A new report commissioned by the World Health Organization said that people in the lowest income groups have the greatest risk of obesity in many societies and that therefore taxation would have the greatest effect.1 The report, by the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, acknowledged that there was still not enough evidence on the benefits of a tax but said that as more governments implemented such a policy the evidence base would increase.

A study published in The BMJ this month found that a year after Mexico’s introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened drinks of one peso (£0.04; €0.05; $0.05) a litre the …

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