Sugar tax and other anti-obesity measures could be scrapped

Sugar tax and other anti-obesity measures could be scrapped

The new UK government has ordered the treasury to audit existing and new anti-obesity policies which were to be introduced next month.

The sugar tax, officially known as the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), was introduced in 2018 as a measure to deter people from consuming unhealthy drinks high in sugar. A review found that the tax has been highly-effective, seeing sugary soft drinks sales fall around 10%.

The review of the SDIL and other measures are part of a plan by the new prime minister to alleviate pressure on businesses by focusing on deregulation. The SDIL could be scrapped and planned policies to ban the display of sugary products at checkouts and multi-buy deals in stores could be binned, The Guardian reports.

Although scrapping these measures has clear financial benefits for businesses, a financial downside would be felt in the increased costs associated with obesity related health problems. The NHS already spends an estimated £6.1 billion annually to deal with conditions such as cancer, diabetes, joint pain and other health issues. This cost is expected to go up should the anti-obesity measures be scrapped.

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