Intended for healthcare professionals


Review blocked by English health secretary backs sugar tax to tackle obesity

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 21 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5626
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Public Health England will support the introduction of a tax on drinks sweetened with sugar, but only as one way of tackling childhood obesity after other more effective steps have been taken, MPs have been told.

Nutrition experts appearing before the House of Commons Health Committee during an evidence session held on 20 October as part of its inquiry into the government’s imminent childhood obesity strategy discussed the pros and cons of such a tax.

In July the BMA called for a 20% tax on sugary drinks to help tackle obesity and diet related health problems.1

Alison Tedstone, director of diet and obesity at Public Health England, giving evidence, said that, although she could not show the committee the agency’s review of evidence on how best to reduce the population’s sugar intake, which is currently unpublished and sitting with the government, she could share some details of it. A week ago the chair of the Health …

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