One of the biggest surprises of George Osborne’s recent budget was the introduction of the Sugar Tax. Though some people had been lobbying for the tax to be brought in, few analysts thought that the Chancellor would use his 2016 budget to introduce the measure.
Though some analysts believe the tax won’t have any effect on the nation’s sugar intake, others think that the new tax could dramatically reduce the amount of sugar in our diets. So what exactly is the Sugar Tax and what will it mean for your family and your bank balance?
What is the Sugar Tax?
Fizzy drinks are packed full of sugar. This sugar contains a huge number of calories that have no nutritional value. These ‘empty calories’ can cause us to put on weight and make us more prone to developing lifestyle diseases like type II diabetes.
The tax that the Chancellor plans to introduce will place a levy on soft drinks that contain large amounts of sugar. The tax will apply to drinks that contain more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, with a higher rate on drinks that have more than 8g per 100ml.
The tax will come into force in 2018, giving drinks manufacturers plenty of time to change their recipes and reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks.
Which drinks contain the most sugar?
Many of the drinks that will be affected by the tax are the usual suspects. Fizzy drinks and brightly coloured, artificial beverages dominate the list of offending items. Some fizzy drinks contain a whopping 15.7g of sugar per 100ml which, considering the NHS recommends we consume no more than 30g of sugar per day, is a colossal amount.
However, what many people may well find surprising is that some fruit juices contain even more sugar than fizzy drinks. Clear juices that don’t have any pulp or fibre in them can be especially harmful to our health, with some juices containing as much as 16g of sugar per 100ml.
What will the collected money be used for?
The Government estimates that the Sugar Tax will raise around £520m. This money will be spent on promoting sports in primary schools across the country, something that should help kids to become even healthier and more active.
Will it work?
Though the small increase in price (most analysts expect the tax to add between 6p and 8p to the cost of a can) may not put consumers off buying fizzy drinks, it will make people more aware of the nutritional choices that they’re making.
Some families may think twice about buying litres and litres of fizzy drinks, switching to healthy alternatives like water instead. This will help them to reduce their overall calorie intake and should make it easier to lose weight and avoid lifestyle related diseases.
To find out more about the benefits of water, have a look around our site today.