United Kingdom sugar tax comes into force

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By all means avoid giving your kids sugar-laden fizzy drinks, but be aware of two things.

The UK government has today introduced a sugar tax on soft drinks, meaning drink manufacturers will have to pay a levy for each high-sugar soft drink they sell in the country.

Firms now have to pay a levy of 18p a litre if their drinks contain more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, or 24p a litre if more than 8g.

Earlier this year, in an effort to improve the diet of its citizens, the Norwegian government increased the current tax on chocolate, candies and soft drinks by as much as 83 percent. Lastly, an expected revenue of £240m ($340) is expected to be raked by the government - that money will be invested in schools sports and breakfast clubs. "As that has happened, obesity rates have continued to rise".

So how will it affect you, and the soft drinks you buy?

Around half of manufacturers had already reduced their sugar content ahead of the levy, many by using sweeteners rather than sugar.

"Current data illustrates that a tax of this sort on a single category will not have a meaningful impact on obesity levels". But other brands such as Coca-Cola have not reformulated their products. That's a reduction from 140 calories to around 65.

How much is the tax?

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Prices may still rise at some supermarket chains, as The Co-op have confirmed.

With the implementation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, now is the time for operators to be prepared, and put new ideas and solutions in place.

Before the sugar tax was implemented in the United Kingdom there were concerns it wouldn't reduce people's consumption of sugary drinks or combat obesity and instead would act as a tax on the poor. There is more to do.

But we do need to be careful.

These are some of the brands that have made a change.

It is hoped the tax will encourage drinks companies to cut down on the amount of sugar in drinks, and consumers to choose lower sugar alternatives.

Nearly the same number - 73% - claim rewards for making healthy choices such as supermarket points would encourage them to eat more healthily. Over half (56 per cent) of Brits say they would cut down on unhealthy products if there were tighter restrictions on advertising unhealthy food. With sugar content higher than 8 g per 100 ml will apply the increased interest rate of 24 pence per litre.

"However, there is potential for this overarching healthy eating trend to be undermined by consumers' incomes being squeezed, together with the perception that healthy food is expensive".

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