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WHO Backs Sugar Tax to Tackle Childhood Obesity

January 27, 2016

A new report on childhood obesity by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has backed plans to introduce a so called ‘sugar tax.’ Presented by the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, the document says there is strong evidence that the introduction of a tax would work if used alongside other measures, such as reducing portion sizes and providing clearer food labeling.

Last year, the governments Health Select Committee recommended the introduction of a 20% tax system and MP’s are due to make a final decision on the move in the coming weeks.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, believes a joined up approach is vital. “Councils and the NHS cannot do it all alone. The key to tackling obesity, which is costing the NHS more than £5bn every year, is investing in prevention. This saves money for other parts of the public sector by reducing demand for hospital, health and social care services, and improves the public’s health,” she said. “We call on the government, working with councils and the NHS, to use the forthcoming child obesity strategy to come forward with ambitious and challenging proposals to tackle the child obesity crisis facing our communities.”

Other recommendations from the report include creating healthy food environments in schools and child care settings, as well as increasing access to healthy foods in disadvantaged communities.

You can view a copy of Ending Childhood Obesity HERE