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Doctors urge government to tax sugary drinks by 20%

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A report by the British Medical Association has urged government ministers to tax sugary drinks at 20%.

The extra money made could be used to subsidise fruits and vegetables, as doctors say that the majority of the UK population do not consume the recommended amount. [1]

The report estimates that poor diets contribute to 70,000 early deaths a year.

Increasing the tax on sugar-laden drinks may help reduce rates of obesity, type-2 diabetes and tooth decay, according to experts.

The UK would not be the first country to implement a sugar tax. Mexico has a 10% tax on sugary drinks, which cut sales by as much as 12% in 2014.

Professor Sheila Hollins, chair of the British Medical Association board of science, says: “While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and when people in the UK are already consuming far too much sugar, we are increasingly concerned about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes.”

[1] http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/improving-and-protecting-health/food-for-thought

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