Slapping a “sugar tax” on cans of pop would help cut the number of strokes, cases of diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer “by thousands”, experts have claimed.
The Children’s Food Campaign wants to see the government introduce laws which would push the cost of fizzy drinks up, to discourage consumers from buying them.
The tax, which would add an extra 20 per cent per litre to the overall price, would cut rates of life threatening conditions like diabetes, strokes, heart disease and bowel cancer, campaigners said.
Soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged four to 10 years, and teenagers.
The Campaign proposes any revenue generated would be used to set-up a Children’s Health Fund, paying for programmes to improve children’s health and protect the environment they grow up in.
The Children’s Food Campaign plans to launch figures for the impact of a sugary drinks duty on the rest of England in early 2015.
Similar taxes on fizzy drinks in Mexico, France and Hungary have had mixed results – consumption in Mexico has dropped considerably a year after the tax was introduced, while France and Hungary have both pumped revenue from the sugar tax into healthcare.
However, the drinks industry disagreed with the tax as they were already taking steps to reduce the sugar content of cans of pop.
Gavin Partington of the British Soft Drinks Federation told Good Morning Britainsaid the real issue was “an imbalance in the calories we’re taking in and the exercise we’re doing”.