16 March 2016

City health chief welcomes sugar tax announcement

Brighton & Hove City Council’s director of public health, Dr Tom Scanlon, has welcomed the news that the Chancellor has announced a new levy on sugary drinks. He said:

“As part of our Sugar Smart campaign we have been focusing on sugary drinks in the city as we know that teenagers are consuming up to three times as much sugar as they should be – and 30-40% of this comes from sugary drinks.

“When we launched Sugar Smart Brighton and Hove in October 2015 we asked those bars, cafés restaurants and other outlets selling sugary drinks to consider making sugar smart commitments.

“More than 150 businesses have been in contact with us and 70 of these are already making sugar smart commitments. These include nearly 60 promoting free drinking water and up to 24 using pricing and promotions to influences choices, including a levy.

“We’ve been working jointly with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership to get the Sugar Smart message spread as widely as possible.

“It is great news that the government has announced a new levy on sugary drinks. In Brighton and Hove one in four children are already overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. It’s also great news with regard to tooth decay.

“It is a lot harder to eat less sugar when we have sugary food and drink advertised and promoted all around us.

“It is good news that the extra money will go to schools for PE and sports as keeping active will help children achieve a healthy weight.”