Calls for a so-called “pudding Tax” covering cakes, biscuits, sweets and other sugary snacks have been made following a report by Public Health England which revealed the average child has consumed 18 years’ worth of sugar by the time they reach the age of 10. The heath body has said that while sugar intakes have fallen in recent years, the average child still consumes the equivalent of 2,800 excess sugar cubes each year.
According to the report, a third of children leave primary school either overweight or obese and PHE are working with the food industry to remove 20% of sugar from products most contributing to children’s sugar intakes by 2020.
Manufacturers have been set targets to cut the sugar content of common foods but have so far made little progress – with puddings actually containing more sugar.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE) said officials will tell ministers that further action, including taxes is needed if the next set of results, due later this year does not show a substantial improvement.
Speaking to a daily newspaper she said: “We will be very clear to Government if it is not good enough. We would be saying that other actions are needed.”
Calls for a pudding tax follow the introduction of the soft drink’s “tax” brought in last year on soft drinks which placed a levy on drinks with a high level of added sugar.
The food industry was told to cut sugar content in common foods by a fifth by 2020.
The categories include breakfast cereals, yoghurts, cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolate, ice cream and sweet spreads.