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Home Industry News Levy on sugary drinks ‘can effectively help to reduce consumption’

Levy on sugary drinks ‘can effectively help to reduce consumption’

18th October 2017

A new study has demonstrated that introducing a small levy on sugar-sweetened drinks could be an effective way of limiting their sales.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research analysed the impact of the addition of a 10p-per-drink levy on sugary drinks sold across 37 Jamie's Italian restaurants in the UK.

When combined with other activities – such as redesigned menus, the offer of new lower-sugar drinks and related publicity – an 11 percent decline in sales of sugary drinks per customer was seen 12 weeks after the levy was introduced.

A further decline in sales of 9.3 percent per customer was still observed six months after the scheme was launched, suggesting that the intervention was able to deliver a long-term impact on consumption of unhealthy beverages.

Study leader Steven Cummins, professor of population health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "Overall, our study suggests that a small levy on sugar-sweetened drinks sold in restaurants, coupled with complementary activities, may have the potential to change consumer behaviour and reduce the consumption of these drinks."

In the UK, sugar-sweetened drinks are thought to account for up to half of the excess calories consumed per day by children, suggesting that this measure could have widespread public health benefits.
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