Campaigners argue an extra tax on CSDs would help tackle obesity

Campaigners argue an extra tax on CSDs would help tackle obesity

The British Soft Drinks Association has rejected a fresh call for an added tax on soft drinks, which would increase prices by at least 20%. 

In a report today (18 February), entitled Measuring Up, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges urges the UK Government to introduce a tax to help tackle the rising problems of obesity. It comes only weeks after food and farming charity Sustain made a similar plea

The new call comes just over a month before UK Chancellor George Osborne reveals his Budget for 2013. 

But Gavin Partington, the BSDA's director general, said a tax would not work, claiming that soft drinks account for “just 2% of the total calories in the average diet”. 

He added: "Don’t forget that there already is a 20% tax on soft drinks - GBP0.10 out of every GBP0.60 can of drinks already goes to the government thanks to VAT (value added tax)." 

The academy's report also included a raft of other recommendations to tackle obesity including a ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9pm and a ban on “junk” food and vending machines in hospitals. 

Last month, GlaxoSmithKline, AG Barr and Britivc committed to cutting calorie levels in some of their products as part of the self-regulatory-style "responsibility deal" companies have with government.