Press releases

08 September 2020

The causes of obesity are complicated and multi-faceted

A study published in PLOS Medicine suggests that people buying large amounts of sugary or diet drinks are more likely to have low socio-economic status, be overweight or obese, and buy less healthy food. It also proposes introducing new sugar taxes.

In response, a BSDA spokesperson said:

“The causes of obesity are complicated and multi-faceted. The soft drinks industry produces a wide range of products that can be enjoyed by all. Our members have led the way in developing and promoting low- and no-calorie soft drinks, which accounted for 68.2% of category sales in 2019 (Global Data).

"In line with these reformulation efforts, Kantar Worldpanel data shows that take-home sugar from soft drinks fell by 34.9% between March 2016 and March 2020, once volume growth has been accounted for.

. Despite this substantial sugar reduction work, we are yet to see evidence from the Government of any direct impact on levels of obesity since the Soft Drinks Industry Levy was introduced. We therefore remain doubtful about the efficacy of levies.”