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The Sugar Tax

  • An update on the proposed ‘Sugar Tax’ following recent guidance published by Public Health England.

    By Sophie Angwin

The abundance of sugar in our diets and the negative impact it has on our health is well publicised. It is well known that the UK public is eating too much sugar, which can lead to weight gain and related health problems, as well as tooth decay.

The Government has recognised the problems we have with sugar and as a result, Public Health England (PHE) has been tasked with the challenge of reviewing our sugar consumption and putting together proposals of how we can reduce our sugar intake.

Shockingly, research carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition concluded that the recommended average person’s maximum intake of sugar should be halved. It is hoped that if this could be achieved then this would have a positive impact on the nation’s health and the NHS.

In Public Health England’s recent guidance entitled ‘Sugar Reduction: The evidence for action’, a number of recommendations were made including:

• Reduction on price promotions in supermarkets and convenience stores
• Reduction of sugar in everyday food and drink
• Education on eating well and having a balanced diet, and
• Introduction of a 10-20% tax on sugary drinks.

As the consumption of sugar has such negative impact on oral health, a number of leading dental charities have showed their support to the recent guidance. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation has responded to the recent guidance:

As a charity we have campaigned for the introduction of a ‘sugar tax’ for many years and with sensible review and implementation of these PHE recommendations we can really start to improve the oral health for generations to come.”

The prevalence of dental decay in children is now at an all time high and could logically be linked to increased sugar consumption. If you are concerned about the impact sugar could be having on your own or your child’s oral health then discuss your concerns with your dentist.

Whilst it might currently seem difficult to resist that big bar of chocolate that is on offer, with the Government’s proposals, you may think twice about buying sugary treats when you can not get them at knock down prices.

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