Most adults in the UK would back plans to expand the sugar tax

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A recent survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation has revealed that most adults in the UK would back plans to expand the current sugar tax.

A poll that was carried out as part of this year’s National Smile Month campaign found that 61% of people would support extending the sugar levy to cover additional products. At present, beverages like fizzy drinks are taxed, but milkshakes, smoothies and alcoholic mixers are exempt. 

Previous reports suggest that some products, including those marketed as healthy alternatives to cans of pop, contain vast amounts of sugar. Some of the drinks that are currently not included in the list of taxable products contain more than half a child’s recommended daily sugar intake. This equates to around 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving. 

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, suggested that the sugar tax has had a positive impact, but added that it was disappointing that the government had not yet expanded the levy to cover additional beverages, which have high sugar content. Reducing sugar consumption would have a dramatic impact on dental health, as well as lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which would, in turn, save the NHS millions of pounds every year. 

The sugar tax was implemented two years ago and it currently includes drinks that contain at least 8g of sugar per 100ml serving. The introduction of new legislation meant that manufacturers could either reduce the sugar content of their products or pay an additional tax at a rate of 24 pence per litre. 

The Oral Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to keep a close eye on their sugar consumption this National Smile Month. 

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