Brits love sugary drinks. Their love for all things soda can get them through 232.9 liters every year – but this number is about to go down drastically, thanks to a new sugar tax that is being introduced across the UK in an effort to prevent obesity and push people towards making healthy decisions.
Scotland has also hopped on the bandwagon and decided to introduce an alcohol tax to tackle the drinking problem in the country. But will making these unhealthy beverages really push people to become healthier? And what exactly is the trade-off for introducing such taxes?
Sugar Prices are Going Up
The current number of adults who are either overweight or obese in the UK has climbed up to 55 per cent, making it the fifth unhealthiest country in Europe.
The government has now decided to accelerate its anti-obesity efforts by cracking down on the most obvious culprit behind weight gain and diabetes: sugar. The government announced during its last year’s budget that it plans on introducing a sugar tax this year which will come into full affect starting mid-April, 2018.
According to the tax plan, the price increase on your favorite soda will depend on how much sugar it contains. Drinks that have more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml will see an 18p increase in tax per liter, whereas those that contain 8 grams or more will be taxed at 24p for every liter.
How Much Will Your Favorite Fizzy Drink Cost?
Currently, a 1.75L bottle of Coca Cola costs around £1.66 in most grocery stores around the country, but with a sugar content higher than 10g per 100 ml, the nation’s favorite pop is about to cost a whole lot more. People who’re used to buying a bottle of coke every day can expect to spend an extra 42p per bottle which can add up to an additional £12 per month.
Pepsi is also set to see a similar increase in tax. Red Bull that has an even higher content of sugar per 100 ml than Pepsi or Coca Cola will either have to change its formula to make the product less sweet or prepare for a big tax hit. So, are you ready to pay the price for your sugar addiction?
How Much More Per Can of Soft Drink?
Not all companies that manufacture sweet beverages are subjected to the new sugar tax; some of them including Fanta, Tango, Lilt, and Irn Bru will not have to raise their prices by a single penny whereas popular soda manufacturers like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Ginger Beer will see a price increase of over 8p per can.
If the new tax on sugary drinks has angered you, take a look at the country’s growing obsession with sugar and increasing rates of obesity. Researchers have already declared that there is a clear and strong link between soda consumption and weight gain. Statistics show that the number of type 2 diabetes cases in the country has almost doubled over the past 20 years and 12.3 million more are showing early signs of the disease due to their excessive sugar consumption.
Sugary drinks play a major role in the onset of diabetes and weight gain, according to a report by University of Cambridge which discovered that almost 8,000 cases of the disease are a direct result of consuming to many fizzy drinks.
The Sugar Tax Works
UK isn’t the first country to introduce a sugar tax and it certainly won’t be the last one. The idea of increasing sugar prices to decrease the consumption of unhealthy beverages has been tested in other places like Mexico where it has worked successfully.
In 2014, the state introduced a tax of 4p per can of soda which resulted in almost 10 per cent decrease in sugar consumption in just two years. France, too, has had success with this method while countries like South Africa and Sri Lanka are expected to introduce a sugar tax in the coming years.