Intended for healthcare professionals

  1. J Bernadette Moore, associate professor of obesity1,
  2. Barbara A Fielding, reader in nutritional sciences2
  1. 1School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
  2. 2Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J Bernadette Moore j.b.moore{at}

May be more effective than a tax on sugary drinks

Since 1975 the worldwide prevalence of obesity has tripled.1 In many countries, such as the UK, more adults are now living with overweight or obesity than with normal body weight. Major health, social, and economic burdens are attributable to obesity and other diet related non-communicable diseases such as fatty liver, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Consequently, in the past decade the World Health Organization has proposed, and a growing number of countries have implemented, different economic policies—most commonly taxes on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs)—to halt the increase in obesity, diabetes, and related diseases.23

In the linked paper, Scheelbeek and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.l4786) use economic modelling to assess the impact of a 20% price increase on high sugar snack foods in the UK.4 Modelling was based on a nationally representative dataset of food purchases and was stratified by household income and body mass index. Notably, the results suggest …

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