Sugary drink tax may cut obesity rates in UK

Slapping a 20 per cent tax on soda pop in Britain could cut the number of obese adults by about 180,000, according to a new study.

Though the number works out to a modest drop of 1.3 per cent in obesity, scientists say that reduction would still be worthwhile in the U.K., which has a population of about 63 million and is the fattest country in Western Europe. About one in four Britons is obese.

Researchers at Oxford University and the University of Reading estimated a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks would reduce sales by 15 per cent and that people would buy beverages like orange juice, milk and diet drinks instead. They said the tax would have the biggest impact on people under 30, who drink more sugary drinks than anyone else.


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