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Press releases

09 September 2016

Latest Government data shows 8% reduction in sugar intake from soft drinks

BSDA’s response to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey by Public Health England published today.

Gavin Partington, BSDA Director General, said:

“We are pleased that the latest NDNS data shows a decline of over 8% in teenagers’ sugar intake from soft drinks between 2012 - 2014. 

“Soft drinks companies have taken significant action to help their consumers reduce their sugar intake since the NDNS data was collected over 2 years ago. Independent analysis confirms that sugar intake from soft drinks has been reduced by over 16% in the last four years. 

“However, we understand there is more to do and only last year we set ourselves a 20% calorie reduction target by 2020.

“It seems odd to punish progress with a tax which risks job losses and higher prices for consumers when our efforts are clearly having an impact. Surely a review of this policy must now be undertaken.”


Notes to editors

  • Independent analysis shows the soft drinks tax will lead to over 4,000 job losses across the UK and a decline of £132 million in the UK economy. Research indicates that most of these job loses will come in retail and hospitality, including pubs and smaller shops. (Oxford Economics, August 2016)
  • The new soft drinks industry levy will cost the taxpayer £1 billion in its first year (page 8)
  • There is no evidence that food taxes have an effect on obesity. In 2013, Denmark scrapped its fat tax because of its economic impact and abandoned plans for a tax on sugar.  Evidence from France shows that while sales of soft drinks initially fell after a tax was introduced in 2012 they have increased since. In Mexico the impact of a soft drinks tax saw a reduction of only 6 fewer calories a day, per person in a diet of over 3,000.
  • Sugar intake from soft drinks has been reduced by 16.2% since 2012. (Kantar Worldpanel, May 2016)
  • The Defra Family Food Survey shows that purchases of regular soft drinks fell by 32% between 2010 and 2014, whilst low calorie drinks purchases increased by more than a third.
  • Almost 60% (58%) of soft drinks now sold in the UK are low and no calorie (BSDA annual report, July 2016)