Will a soda tax to fight obesity?

As measures to fight obesity British doctors offer tangible impose additional tax sale of carbonated drinks, as well as to prohibit television advertising of fast food during the day.

The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, a member of which is almost every doctor in the country, said the sprawling bellies Britons today have become a "huge crisis."

The report notes that the measures taken so far have been unsuccessful. Doctors say that the attitude to junk food should be the same as for cigarettes.

The leading players in the food industry, in turn, called the report disappointing and complain that it adds little to the debate going on obesity.

In front of the whole of EuropeObesity in Britain

Percentage of people with excess weight of the adult population of the United Kingdom

United Kingdom today — one of the world leaders in obesity. About a quarter of the country's adult population classified as obese. It is projected that by 2050 this number will double — now every third graduate elementary school are overweight.

Doctors are concerned that the wholesale obesity can lead to dire consequences for the health of the nation.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges — a kind of "united front" of the profession, which consist surgeons and therapists, psychiatrists and pediatricians. The Academy claims that doctors are faced with the consequences of unhealthy food every day, and that its members have never been so unanimous on this issue.

Chairman of the Academy, Professor Terence Stephenson draws parallels with the campaign against smoking.

"This will require such things as bans on advertising and marketing restrictions, as well as the associative relationship of smoking and sports — it has helped people to move away from smoking," — said Professor Stevenson Bi-bi-si.

According to him, there is no magic pill that would help deal with obesity. Instead, he says, you need to change the culture of food in general, it was easier for people to make healthy choices, "People are telling us that they need help to go with the flow rather than against the flow, to healthy food choices was given easier . "

Although the report of the academy and found a whole heap of recommendations that a special cause irritation of Professor Stevenson's sweet drinks — for the fact that they contain "only water and sugar." He speaks very pointedly about the culture in which it is normal to drink a liter of soda during a session at the cinema.

According to chairman of the academy, a new tax on soda is needed to "encourage people to eat more healthy drinks." "Physicians often reproached the desire to build a state-nurse. But we did not meet a single person who would have liked to have overweight. Everyone we met, asked for help from the state and society."

"If we did so, we would not have speed limits on the roads, which saves lives, we would not have been a ban on drunk driving that saves lives — there are a lot of things that enters the state and society to help We live a long, full, healthy life. We simply offer to do something similar in power "- insists the professor.

"Unbalanced approach"

However, in the Federation of Food (FRR) offers physicians met with great skepticism, calling them disappointing report. The report did not live up to expectations and little is added an important debate going on this subject, says Terry Jones, "The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges presented its recommendations as a set of unbalanced ideas that are most likely had a strong influence certain interest groups."


  • The ban on TV advertising of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt until 9:00 pm.
  • Additional taxes on sugary drinks, so that their retail price has risen by at least 20%.
  • Reducing the number of outlets selling fast food near schools and recreation facilities.
  • Budget allocation of 100 million pounds to medical intervention, such as operations to eliminate excess weight.
  • Ban on fast food or vending machines for snacks and drinks in hospitals, where all food must meet the same nutritional standards as in schools.
  • Product labels should include information on the calorie content for children.

"FRR hoped that this report will seriously consider the question of how the food industry and doctors can work together in the fight against obesity and sincerely offer a new perspective on how to facilitate the process of decision-making and healthy change behavior in order to achieve long-term health effects society. None of this report could not provide, "- concluded the representative of the FRR.

The idea of taxing soda and rejected the British Soft Drinks Association, stating that they account for only 2% of the total calories in the average diet. They stated that it is necessary to look at the whole problem, which is "a total diet and activity level."

Dr. Asim Malhotra, a cardiologist, who participated in the drafting of the report, noted that more and more of his patients have excess weight and suffer from diseases caused by obesity.

"A key reason — a food environment that surrounds us. This is how to bring children into the shop and tell them that they should not eat cakes, — he said in an interview with BBC BBC. — There's nothing wrong to eat sometimes, but these goodies slowly crept into everyday diet of most people. Our overabundance of cheap sweets, it clearly requires ordering ".

The Department of Health in England, in coordination with the food industry, previously offered a number of voluntary measures aimed at increasing the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Health Minister Lord Howe welcomed the report, adding that he would like to see how the "business also puts more efforts" in this matter.

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