Sugar tax won’t work claims FDF

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has criticised Jamie Oliver’s recent proposal to add a 10p sugar tax on all sweet drinks at his restaurants in protest at the UK Government’s refusal to introduce one, claiming that such measures won’t work.

In a statement, Ian Wright, director general of the FDF said: “We strongly support Jamie Oliver’s commitment to improving public health … However, additional taxes on food and drinks don’t work. Where they’ve been introduced they’ve not proven effective at driving long-term change to diets.”

“We want Jamie to help us make sure the millions of people eating in restaurants and cafes up and down the country have access to nutritional information. It’s often hard to tell if you are making a healthy choice or having a treat when you are out with friends and family. Nutritional information on food is transforming the food industry. With his help it could transform the restaurant industry too.

“Food and drink manufacturers have provided nutrition information on product packaging for nearly a decade. As well as giving consumers a clear understanding of what they’re eating and how it fits within their diet, we’ve found it also encourages companies to adapt their recipes for health as consumers increasingly look for healthier options.

The statement comes at a time when Food Active is calling for the UK Government to introduce a 20% tax on sugary drinks – claiming that the move could reduce cases of type 2 diabetes by 2,400 and of stroke and coronary heart disease by 1,700 annually across England ­– and new research from the US has revealed that sugary drink consumption may lead to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths worldwide annually.