Britain is about to try something that’s been discussed and discarded in many U.S. locales — a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. the tax begins this month (April) and amount to about the equivalent of none to 12 cents per can depending on sugar content.
That means soda makers and others will pass those costs on to consumers. The tax money collected is supposed to go to promote sports in British schools, reports FoodandDrink Europe.com.
Will the tax get companies to cut sugar content? This Q&A speculates that it would cost major producers like Coke more to reformulate than they may lose in sales because of the tax.
Mexico has had a similar tax since 2013 and it has cut sales of sugar-sweetened beverages but its impact on health is uncertain, according to a New York Times report.
Such taxes have been discussed in various cities in the US, but only Berkeley, Calif, has passed one and it did that just last year so its impact on health is still uncertain.
Personally, I think taxes on sugary beverages can help raise tax money for governments struggling to make ends meet. What impact they’ll have on people’s heath I’m not so certain of.
Soda has become an easy target to attack for healthy eating advocates, but it’s far from the only thing causing obesity, diabetes and other health problems in large swathes of the US population.
We’re all eating too much sugar, salt and fat, all three have to be cut to improve health, not just one. I’d love to see a salt tax too, I think that would do more to tackle heart disease issues than any efforts on the sugar front, but others would disagree, so we’ll see. One of the problems fo taxing so-called unhealthy foods is that nutrition science keeps changing and what’s considered unhealthy one decade isn’t the next — witness the ups and downs the humble egg has faced for proof of that.