My Grandmother loved fizzy drinks – she died when my Dad was a boy, of Diabetes. Yes it was a different era but it was mostly likely attributed to the drinks. They had a very modest income and if we had, had the tax then maybe it would have encouraged her not to drink as much and sent a bold message as to how bad they are.
I ask anyone who doubts that this policy will not work – to explain what that actually means. Is it only saving one or two lives – someone else’s mum or grandma? Is it not just about cutting obesity for a few, the money saved by the NHS could be used to pay for others suffering from cancer for instance.
The fact is this policy will not deter everyone – you can only lead a horse to water you cannot make it drink. However you can send a strong message that the sugar threat in drinks is serious. It is also very Conservative – a responsible action by responsible government. A forward thinking action and an action that does not ban but encourages personal responsibility by those who will know the facts.
A recent study by Public Health England (PHE) found that the average teenager consumes more than three times the recommended level of sugar . Soft drinks (excluding fruit juice) are now the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11 to 18 years, providing 29% of daily sugar intake.
The report, published last October, found that if everyone got down to the 5% level within five years, this would save 77,300 lives over the next 25 years.
There would be six million fewer cases of tooth decay and the NHS would save £14.4billion, I think this makes the case.