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WATCH: Officials in Cornwall welcome new sugar tax

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:57pm 5th April 2018. (Updated at 5:10am 6th April 2018)

The price of some fizzy drinks are going up because of a new sugar tax.

From Friday 6th April, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy comes into force across the country.

Officials in Cornwall say it is a welcome move to help tackle obesity levels, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

The levy applies to manufacturers and importers of sugar added soft drinks and varies depending on the amount of sugar they contain.

If the drink has 5g of sugar or more per 100ml, a levy of 18p per litre will apply and 24p per litre if the drink has 8g of sugar or more per 100ml.

Some drink producers have already lowered the sugar content in their products to avoid the levy.

Cornwall Council has welcomed the move as a positive step.

Some of the funds raised by central government will be used to increase sports funding for primary and secondary schools.

It can be used for breakfast clubs so that children can have the best start to the day, purchasing sports equipment or providing water drinking fountains.

In Cornwall around 27% of children aged four to five are identified as overweight, increasing throughout the primary school years to around 30% by age ten to eleven. In adults over 18, that figure jumps to 59%.

 

Tooth decay is a growing issue with 22% of children over the age of five having at least one tooth which is missing filled or decayed.

In 2015-2016 around 400 children under the age of 16 had tooth extractions under General Anaesthetic in Cornwall because of poor oral health.

Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said "We welcomed the announcement of the levy during the budget in 2016, and are keen to see the impact it has in coming years.

"Eating well and being active are two things that can prevent ill health and help us to live long, healthy and happy lives.

"Anything we can do to reduce our sugar intake is a good thing as it has so many links to health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay - all things which are preventable.

"The sugar levy and our work on the SUGAR SMART campaign in Cornwall stands to make a real difference to our health. SUGAR SMART Cornwall is working to make it easier for us all to choose healthier options when buying food outside the home.

"This shows that central government, local government and communities can all work together to tackle a serious health problem."

The recent SUGAR SMART Cornwall survey had over 600 responses, and the results will help to inform how we work with communities in the future.

 

Sugar Smart tips

  • A regular 330ml can of cola contains 35g of sugar, which instantly takes a child over their recommended daily intake allowance. 
  • Fruit juices still count as part of your 5 a day, but are very high in sugar. Juices can still be consumed but up to a max of 150ml a day, and is best consumed at mealtimes to avoid tooth decay. 
  • Energy drinks can also contain high sugar levels with sales recently been banned for children under 16 years
  • To make a healthy swap, the best alternatives for children are water and milk. For adults, water, milk, unsweetened coffee and tea can also help you meet your recommended hydration levels. 
  • The Change 4 Life website has many healthy swap suggestions, recipes and ideas for anyone wishing to reduce sugar in their diet.
  • Take care of children's teeth by using these NHS top tips

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