According to researchers, the price of sweets and fizzy drinks should be doubled to reduce tooth decay among children; there are calls for a 100% sugar tax to be added to soft drinks and confectionary in order to deal with an epidemic of cavities and dental problems currently affecting the public. It could also help with rising obesity levels and the associated health risks.
Recent figures have shown that 500 children are admitted to hospital every week with tooth decay and more than a quarter of youngsters have cavities. Although there are no plans to introduce such a tax, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine say that it is necessary to try and get dental decay under control.
Lead researcher Professor Philip James said that at least 20% sugar tax should be added and he said that schools should stop serving fruit juice and vending machines in public places should be done away with. Professor James said that ‘this would be simplest as a tax on sugar as a mass commodity, since taxing individual foods depending on their sugar content is an enormously complex administrative process. The level will depend on expert analyses but my guess is that a 100 per cent tax might be required.’