Royal College of General Practitioners calling for a sugar tax

Knowledge Quarter partner, The Royal College of GPs, is supporting the work of Jamie Oliver – an Honorary Fellow of the College – in calling for a sugar tax, and his ongoing work to promote better food education and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Commenting on the launch of his new TV show ‘Sugar’, Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the RCGP, said:

“Sugar in our food and drink, whilst enjoyable in the short term, is our hidden enemy and can lead to numerous serious, chronic health problems, including dental decay, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Our diets, and those of our children, increasingly contain too much sugar – often concealed in drinks such as fruit juice and cereals, which can seem like the healthy option.

In the wider scheme of things, obesity-related conditions cause great misery to many people and also cost the health service £5bn a year, which affects everyone.

GPs are not killjoys, but there is absolutely no place in our diets – particularly children’s – for sugary drinks.

The College would like to see the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks to make them less affordable – an approach that has worked before with smoking where there was a notable fall in the number of smokers once prices were increased.

Alternatives also need to be promoted, such as serving cool, pleasant tasting water at mealtimes, and ensuring that pure, filtered water is available in all public places.”