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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sugar tax to pay for treating obesity !

Sugary foods may have to be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a health minister has warned.
George Freeman, the life sciences minister, said that food companies should be aware that if they continued to produce food that could lead to poor lifestyles and ill health they would be penalised.
Mr Freeman is the first minister to back a sugar tax. Last year, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, ruled out the measure, saying the Government was looking at other ways to encourage people to eat more healthily.
Mr Freeman told an audience at the Hay Festival that it was clear that sugary drinks and snacks were behind the worsening obesity epidemic in Britain. “I don’t think heavy-handed legislation is the way to go,” he said.
“But I think that where there is a commercial product which confers costs on all of us as a society, as in sugar, and where we can clearly show that the use of that leads to huge pressures on social costs, then we could be looking at recouping some of that through taxation.
“Companies should know that if you insist on selling those products, we will tax them.”
Full story here.

Post edit.

"On Friday, Downing Street rejected the proposal. Insisting that there were no plans to introduce a sugar tax, the prime minister’s spokesman said imposing a tax “on hard-working people to increase the weight and cost of their shopping baskets” was not the right solution.

“We will continue with the approach that has been taken, which has been around working with the industry, working with public health bodies and the like,” the spokesman said, adding that Freeman was doing an excellent job as minister for life sciences." Here.

Far too much money in junk food and big pharma to want to stop the obesity and type two diabetes epidemics. Once the NHS is dismantled type two diabetes will be the biggest earner in the UK.