Latest Public Sector News

06.04.18

Tax on sugary drinks ‘will help ease obesity epidemic’

Today, the UK’s tax on sugary drinks came into effect as part of the government’s flagship anti-obesity policy.

This new tax comes into effect as obesity-related illnesses continue to put a strain on the NHS and public health at large. There was an 18% increase in the last year for conditions caused or complicated by obesity, according to NHS Digital.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “A tax on sugary drinks is a positive move forward in tackling this obesity epidemic.”

There were 617,000 obesity-related admissions in total in England, of which 10,705 were directly for obesity treatment such as bariatric surgery, which is considered a last resort treatment. According to data from the OECD, the UK has the sixth highest level of obesity in the world.

Children from deprived communities are far more likely to be obese than those from affluent communities. Obesity was highest in Wolverhampton at 14% and lowest in Kingston upon Thames at 5% for primary school starters. For Year 6, it was highest in Barking and Dagenham at 29% and lowest in Rutland at 11%.

“Obesity can have a devastating impact on our patients' long-term health and wellbeing,” continued Stokes-Lampard, “but we are particularly concerned about the increasing rates of obesity in children and young people – this is simply setting them up for a life plagued with serious health conditions, including increased risks of a range of cancers as well as diabetes and heart disease.

“We hope these measures will go some way in encouraging people to cut down on the amount of sugar they are consuming, but a levy on its own will not solve the obesity crisis – it must be part of a broader strategy which targets patients' overall lifestyle changes including diet and exercise.

“The buck cannot lie with healthcare professionals alone. We need a society-wide approach with schools, workplaces, local authorities, food and drinks manufacturers and public health bodies all playing a part.”

The LGA has previously called for the sugar levy on soft drinks to be distributed to councils so that they can administer it amongst schools, but Whitehall has so far not given local authorities the full reins over the tax.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >