THE UK’S NEW TAX ON SUGARY DRINKS – A SMALL STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

sugar tax

Jamie Oliver wasn’t the only one smiling last month when Chancellor George Osborne announced that Britain was to be one of the first countries in the world to introduce a ‘sugar tax’ on the companies that produce sugary drinks such as coke, pepsi and fanta. Doctors, researchers and nutritionists around the world were hailing at what could be the start of an attack on the substance that is increasingly being hailed as the root of all our health problems.

From obesity and diabetes, to cancer, study after study is now showing that sugar consumption can lead to all manner of health problems. And the biggest problem of all? Sugar is more addictive than tobacco, alcohol and even cocaine and we as a human species are dangerously dependent on it. Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, UK, Simon Capewell says, ‘Sugar is the new tobacco.’

This tax on sugary drinks, although a step in the right direction, has caused many campaigners to highlight that it targets just one of the problematic, sugar-rich products available on supermarket shelves. Sugar is now being added to all manner of sauces, soups and other processed foods because food and drink companies know that by adding sugar to their products, sugar-addict consumers will consume more.

One campaign group, Action on Sugar is a charity set up by health professionals in the UK to provide scientific facts on sugar and to try to reduce the amount of sugar we consume. Although they welcomed the sugary drinks tax, they say that added sugar needs to be reduced across all foodstuffs with ‘a mandatory system of regulated targets for the reduction of sugar, saturated fat and salt’

Watching the brilliant Fed Up documentary by Director Stephanie Soechtig, it is clear that the profits of food and drink production companies depend heavily on our addiction to sugar and, since their overriding goal is to increase profits, they have no financial incentive to reduce the sugar content of their products. It does indeed seem that the only way to reduce sugar in food and drink is to regulate at a governmental level.

If you need even more convincing that it is time for you to ditch sugary drinks for fresh, purified water , here are some fascinating facts courtesy of Collective Evolution:

WATER…

  • Half the world’s population is chronically de-hydrated
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism by 3%.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79% and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

…vs. COKE

  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.
  • You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. Apply a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

Guest Blogger: Nina Brown

Nina Brown is the founder of Tandem Festival (tandemfestival.com) and editor at InTandem Publications (intandempublications.com). Tandem aims to bring environmental issues to a broader audience through the arts.