The Health News United Kingdom April 9 2018

  • The “ground-breaking” sugar tax on soft drinks has come into force in the UK. From Friday manufacturers have to pay a levy on the high-sugar drinks they sell. Ministers and campaigners believe it has already proved to be a success with many firms reducing sugar content ahead of the change. Originally, the Treasury forecast it would raise more than £500m a year, but that has now been reduced to £240m because some manufacturers have reduced the sugar content in their products.
  • A leading dentists’ charity has said that fizzy drinks should be age-restricted in order to tackle rising childhood obesity and tooth decay. The Dental Wellness Trust, a British non-government organization which fights poor dental hygiene in the developing world, is calling for an outright ban on children under the age of 6 consuming the high-sugar drinks, and rules preventing them being sold to children under 12 in shops.
  • Health campaigners have attacked McDonald’s for putting profits before people’s health with the relaunch of its promotional Monopoly lottery game, which encourages families to buy more and larger portions of fast food – and awards millions of food prizes, especially unhealthy sugary desserts. Public health and anti-obesity campaigners have been pressing for more control over the advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods, such as with “buy one get one free” promotions in supermarkets, and warning of stealth advertising through children’s internet games on smartphones.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43659124

The “ground-breaking” sugar tax on soft drinks has come into force in the UK. From Friday manufacturers have to pay a levy on the high-sugar drinks they sell. Ministers and campaigners believe it has already proved to be a success with many firms reducing sugar content ahead of the change. But others say it is still too early to judge the impact.

Leading brands such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade have cut the sugar content of drinks, but Coca-Cola has not. The introduction of the levy means the UK joins a small handful of nations, including Mexico, France and Norway, which have introduced similar taxes. The levy is being applied to manufacturers – whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them. Drinks with more than eight grams per one hundred milliliters will face a tax rate equivalent to twenty p per litre. Those containing five to eight grams of sugar per one hundred milliliters will face a slightly lower rate of tax, of eighteen p per litre. Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, while drinks with a high milk content will also be exempt due to their calcium content.

Originally, the Treasury forecast it would raise more than five hundred million pounds a year, but that has now been reduced to two hundred forty million pounds because some manufacturers have reduced the sugar content in their products. In England that income is being invested in schools sports and breakfast clubs. Products such as cakes, biscuits and other foods are not covered by the tax, however a separate initiative is encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of those items voluntarily.
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Research by Mintel found just under half of Britons say taxing unhealthy products would encourage them to cut back.
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Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “Our teenagers consume nearly a bathtub of sugary drinks each year on average, fuelling a worrying obesity trend.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/06/fizzy-drinks-ban-needed-protect-childrens-health-say-dental/

A leading dentists’ charity has said that fizzy drinks should be age-restricted in order to tackle rising childhood obesity and tooth decay. The Dental Wellness Trust, a British non-government organization which fights poor dental hygiene in the developing world, is calling for an outright ban on children under the age of six consuming the high-sugar drinks, and rules preventing them being sold to children under twelve in shops.

Writing in The Telegraph, the charity applauds the Government’s long awaited “sugar tax”, which came into force on Friday, but said further “bold and brave” policies are needed to improve the health of British children, one in five of whom now leaves primary school obese. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy imposes a tax of eighteen p per litre on soft drinks containing five to seven grams of sugar per one hundred milliliters, and a twenty four p per litre for more than eight grams per one hundred milliliters. Milkshakes are exempt, but this week George Osborne, who announced the tax in two thousand sixteen, backed extending the measure to sugary milk-based products.
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Doctor Linda Greenwall, founder of the Dental Wellness Trust, writes: “The DWT believes now is the time for a bold and brave evidence-based health policy that directly tackles one of the biggest challenges to child health that our generation has seen.”
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/apr/07/mcdonalds-monopoly-promotion-attacked-by-health-campaigners

Health campaigners have attacked McDonald’s for putting profits before people’s health with the relaunch of its promotional Monopoly lottery game, which encourages families to buy more and larger portions of fast food – and awards millions of food prizes, especially unhealthy sugary desserts. Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: The promotional game is supposed to be for adults, but “sweeps up children because children are part of the family. This is essentially a price promotion for high-fat, high-salt and high-sugar foods.” McDonald’s Monopoly has been running, on and off, since the nineteen eighties in the United States and sometimes the UK. Selected food items have peel-off labels attached.

The biggest prize is for four people who manage to collect both Mayfair and Park Lane, which will win them one hundred thousand pounds.
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Public health and anti-obesity campaigners have been pressing for more control over the advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods, such as with “buy one get one free” promotions in supermarkets, and warning of stealth advertising through children’s internet games on smartphones. Viner also pointed out that McDonald’s foods cannot be advertised on children’s television due to their fat, salt and sugar content.

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The Royal College and other public health bodies have been calling for fast-food adverts to be banned before nine pm because of the numbers of children who watch during family programmes such as The Voice and The X Factor.

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