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Junk food tax the way to go?

Last Updated: 18 January 2019








Junk food tax the way to go?

The latest UK budget saw a controversial tax on sugary fizzy drinks introduced. The tax will be imposed on any drinks with more than 5g sugar (thats around a tsp) per 100ml, but not on pure fruit or milk-based drinks (despite some of these drinks containing more sugar than fizzy drinks!).

The question therefore follows as to whether there should also be a tax on sugary snacks and other unhealthy ‘junk food’. 


With almost 40% of the world now classified as obese, many agree that any method to reduce this dangerous epidemic is a good thing - yet others argue that countries like Mexico who have already introduced these sugar taxes are not seeing significant results and that it’s somehow removing freedom of choice.

Whatever your opinion, it’s advisable to get used to checking nutrition labels - any drinks with more than 4g sugar (1 tsp) per 100ml is considered to be high and it’s a good idea to limit these.

Like with any food, sugar itself won’t cause obesity unless eaten in excessive amounts and as part of an unbalanced lifestyle - yet if the sugar tax helps to redress this balance then it will surely be welcomed by the majority. 



Written by Ruth Tongue
(MSc Nutrition)

General health
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