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Soft drink tax could have major effect on health, study finds

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 16 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6744
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

The forthcoming tax on soft drinks could have a major impact on the incidence of dental caries, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, a study in the Lancet has found.1

The tax, due to be introduced in 2018 as part of the government’s childhood obesity strategy, will include two bands: one for soft drinks with more than 5 g of sugar per 100 mL, and a higher one for drinks with more than 8 g/100 mL. The government estimates that the levy will raise £520m (€620m; $646m) in its first year.2

In the study, researchers modelled three scenarios of how industry would respond to the levy: reformulating drinks to cut sugar content; raising prices; and encouraging consumers to switch to lower sugar …

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