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sugary drinks tax and health impacts

Last week we heard details of the government’s tiered levy on sugary drinks, which was broadly welcomed by experts.

But will this be a silver bullet in the fight against obesity?  Will it galvanise action by the food industry to reduce sugar?  And what might be the health impacts of the levy?

A new modelling study to be published in The Lancet Public Health estimates the effects of six possible industry responses to the levy in relation to the incidence of obesity, diabetes, and dental caries.

Journalists came along to the Science Media Centre to hear the study authors discuss the findings of this study and its wider implications, such as:

  • Will the sugary drinks levy improve health?
  • What are the possible industry responses?
  • How significant might the effects of the levy be at preventing obesity, diabetes and dental caries?
  • Which age-groups are likely to benefit most from the levy?
  • How does this levy compare with sugar taxes in other countries?
  • Is the sugary drinks tax enough – or what’s next to tackle obesity?



Dr Peter Scarborough, University Research Lecturer, BHF Centre on Population Approaches to Noncommunicable Disease Prevention, University of Oxford

Dr Adam Briggs, Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow, University of Oxford, and honorary Specialty Registrar in Public Health, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Prof Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of Oxford

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