UK action group calls for confectionery tax
UK pressure groups Action on Sugar and Action on Salt have called on the British Prime Minister to introduce an “Energy Density Levy on Confectionery”.
The group have launched an updated seven-point plan to prevent obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and hypertension in the UK.
The groups recommends that an energy density levy should be introduced on confectionery set at a minimum levy of 20%. They also suggest that only healthy products that are not high in fat sugar and salt be marketed across platforms including TV, digital and print.
Action on Sugar and Action on Salt say that chocolate and sweet confectionery are among the highest contributors of sugar in the British diet, with chocolate being among the highest contributor to high saturated fat intake.
The group believes that a levy to a minimum of 20% on all sweet and chocolate confectionery produced by manufacturers and retailers will provide an opportunity to reformulate based “not on sugar content, but on overall energy-density of products”, such as the removal of both fat and sugar.
The group’s seven evidence-based actions include: achieving a 50% reduction in sugar content across all products; achieving a 20% reduction in energy-density in unhealthy food and drink products; introducing a confectionery levy; making uniform colour-coded labelling on all products sold in retail and out of home mandatory; ensuring all products sold in the public sector meet strict nutritional standards; and ensuring the food and drink industry increases fruit and vegetable content of products through reformulation.
Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt says: “Theresa May launched her Prime Minister campaign in 2016 by saying that she wanted to tackle health inequalities – obesity being a major factor in this. Whilst some progress has been made, a much more robust and hard-hitting strategy is required to tackle the greatest threat to the health of our children. Theresa May could lead the world in tackling obesity and type 2 diabetes and must put the nation’s health first.”