03 Dec 2014 North West of England SSB Duty Research
SUGARY DRINKS: A DUTY TO PROTECT HEALTH
NEW RESEARCH FROM NORTH WEST ENGLAND INDICATES THE HEALTH AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF A DUTY ON SUGARY DRINKS.
As the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition today publishes its draft report Carbohydrates on Health which will consider the case for interventions to reduce sugar consumption, new research from Food Active reveals that a duty on sugary drinks could have major health benefits and cost savings for the North West of England.
The research, conducted on behalf of Food Active by public health researcher Brendan Collins indicates that a 20% duty on sugary drinks could:
- Reduce adult obesity prevalence across the North West, with Manchester seeing the biggest changes.
- Over the next 20 years see a reduction in the number of cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer across the region.
- Produce cost savings from a reduction in healthcare costs of treating obesity related diseases of around £3.9 million per annum across the region.
- Raise at least £30 million in revenue from the North West which could be used to fund health improvement programmes or subsidise healthier food and drink options.
Abdul Razzaq, Chair of Food Active, said:
“Sugary drinks are adding empty calories to our diets and contributing to the region’s obesity problem. This research demonstrates that major benefits are to be gained from a duty on sugary drinks not only in terms of improving individual health but also in reducing the burden that obesity is placing on the NHS. Given this, Food Active is calling on the Government to consider introducing a duty on sugary drinks without delay.”
Brendan Collins, author of the research, said:
“With duties on sugary drinks already introduced in parts of the US, as well as in France and Ireland this research makes the case for such a duty in the UK; taking the North West of England as its focus. The estimated volume of sugary drinks purchased per person per week has nearly doubled since the mid-1970s with 11-18 year olds being the biggest consumers. With public support increasingly behind a duty on sugary drinks, this research articulates some of the potential benefits and outcomes of a duty- as well as the consequences of inaction.”
Note- The excel based planning tool which accompanies this research will be released by the Children’s Food Campaign in July.