According to an independent poll of GB adults by Populus, for the Food and Drink Federation, only four in ten Britons think introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would be effective in tackling obesity.
Even fewer think a ban on supermarket price promotions, for example, buy-one-get-one-free offers, would be effective.
Over two thirds of the 2,005 consumers polled think a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would:
• Penalise the majority of people who consume soft drinks responsibly (67% agree)
• Increase substantially year-on-year (67% agree)
• Inevitably lead to taxes on other foods (78% agree)
Food and Drink Federation director general Ian Wright CBE, said: “Instead of presuming to speak for the British public as some health campaigners have done, we’ve asked consumers directly whether they think a sugar tax would be effective at tackling obesity. The public’s instincts mirror what the facts are telling us – that there isn’t evidence that a tax would make any difference to obesity. Last month, Public Health England, which called for a new tax on top of the 20% VAT charged on soft drinks, conceded that there was no long-term data showing it would work.
“The causes of the obesity challenge we face in this country are far more complicated than any single ingredient, food or drink. We need to follow the evidence, and help people to improve their overall diets and become more active. Food and drink companies are already playing their part by adapting recipes and limiting portion size, and are willing and ready to do more.”
Why food and drink taxes don’t work
British Soft Drinks Association director general Gavin Partington, said: “Evidence from other countries has shown this type of tax does not work. In fact, the soft drinks tax in Mexico has reduced average calorie intake by just 6 calories per person, per day and the model promoted by campaigners in the UK suggests a 20% soft drinks tax would reduce it by a mere 4 calories per day.
“By contrast, the efforts by soft drinks companies including product reformulation, smaller pack sizes and increased promotion of low and no calorie drinks have led to a 7% reduction in calories from soft drinks in the last three years.
“The soft drinks industry recognises it has a role to play in supporting public health objectives and welcomes steps to encourage a balanced diet and active lifestyle but targeting single ingredients or products is misguided and unlikely to prove effective.”
Click here for more information on why food and drink taxes don’t work.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial