Will the sugar tax make a difference?

Recent news focused on the introduction of the sugar tax on soft drinks. The big question on everyone’s lips is, “Will it make a difference?”.

It’s costing our health

With tooth decay and obesity rates in children continuing you rise, we must start somewhere. The UK is a ticking time bomb, storing up potential health problems for our nation’s children.

Our bodies are not designed to cope with the amount of sugar that we’re consuming. The NHS is already breaking point with huge proportions of its budget being spent on treating lifestyle diseases linked to obesity:

• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Stroke
• Type 2 diabetes
• Cancer – 13 different types
• Gallbladder disease and gallstones
• Osteoarthritis
• Gout
• Breathing difficulties – sleep apnea and asthma

Type 2 diabetes is killing our health service

Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS in England and Wales approximately 10% of its budget every year, that is £1.5m an hour! That’s for a disease that is completely preventable, by eating healthily and being active (just to be clear, I’m not referring to Type 1 diabetes – which is not preventable). These figures are scarily increasing and are crippling our health service.

What are the guidelines on sugar consumption?

The World Health Organisation guidelines recommend that we shouldn’t have more than 25g or 6 teaspoons of ‘free sugar’ in our daily diet.

What are free sugars?

Free sugars are things such as glucose, fructose, sucrose or normal sugar added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and concentrates in fruit juice. For adults this also includes alcohol – sorry!

Public Health England refers to their maximum daily intake for sugar in sugar cubes (which actually annoys me because how many people use sugar cubes these days?)

4-6 year olds no more than 5 cubes.
7-10 year olds no more than 6 cubes.
11+ year olds no more than 7 cubes.

What will the sugar tax mean to consumers?

18p per litre tax on soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml.
24p per litre tax on soft drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml.

Sugar reduction

Some manufacturers have reduced the sugar content in their drinks to avoid or reduce the tax to the consumer. Some haven’t such as Pepsi and Coca Cola, both containing approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar per 330ml can, which equivalent to maximum recommended daily amount advised by the World Health Organisation.

Even worse are energy drinks which contain 12 teaspoons of sugar, plus the equivalent of 2 shots of caffeine – but don’t get me started on those, that’s another rant!

What about zero sugar, low cal or diet drinks – are they the healthier option?


These are just as bad as sugar. What we have to understand is that not only are our bodies unable to cope with the huge amounts of sugar we consume in our modern western diets, but also that they’re not designed to assimilate the artificial sweeteners and ingredients that go into these so called ‘healthier’ options. Diet drinks will not help you lose weight, they cause more harm than good.

My advice always is, if the ingredients sound like the contents of a chemistry lab, then they don’t belong in your body.

So, will it make a difference?

Let’s see what happens over the next 12 months – Mexico, France and Norway have also adopted a similar tax. The UK Food and Drink Federation would like to disagree, as they say it will affect retails sales, but isn’t our nation’s health more important?


Just so that you know…

I made changes 18 years ago – I used to be fat and a health risk


This is me 18 years ago, just over 3 stone or 20kg heavier than I am now. I was unfit, lived on an unhealthy diet, smoked and drank too much. One of my main motivators to get healthy was to lower my risk of serious illness and disease and not to be a drain on the NHS.


How did I do it?

I took responsibility for my health, and as a result am happier and have loads more energy.



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