One in five children in the UK is obese by the time he or she finishes primary school. In an effort to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, the government is instituting a tax on sugary soda drinks in the hopes that the surcharge will reduce consumption and raise awareness about the amount of sugar that these drinks contain. One tax will go into effect for drinks that contain a total sugar content of 5 grams per 100 milliliters, with an additional tax for those that contain more than 8 grams per 100 milliliters. For reference, one 12 ounce can of Coke has almost 11 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. Sugary drinks are the biggest source of dietary sugar in the diets of kids under the age of 18, and the government believes that the extra cost (which amounts to about 25-34 cents per liter) will cause kids and their parents to think twice before purchasing these beverages. As if the total lack of nutritional content and the gross, potentially cancer-causing and digestion-disrupting ingredients aren’t enough of a reason. The soda tax news was unsurprisingly met with groans and complaints from the soda industry, who purport that they have already begun reducing sugar levels over the past few years. The tax will go into effect in 2018, allowing soda companies time to tweak their formulas to lower sugar levels even further. With the money raised from the tax (estimated at more than $732 million dollars in just the first year), the government plans to fund athletic programs in schools. Former Mayor Bloomberg tried to institute a similar program in New York City a few years back, and he even suggested a ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces, but the Big Soda Establishment won that round when the New York court rejected it.

via CNN

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