Government should introduce a 20p levy per litre on every soft drink containing added sugar, chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver says, with support from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).
The RCGP supports the father of four’s plans for a sugar tax, which equates to about an extra 7p per 330ml can of added-sugar drink.
In November 2013, Oliver received the highest award from the RCGP for his work on healthy food education through the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and the global Food Revolution Day.
Commenting on the launch of his new TV show Sugar, Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, said: “GPs are not killjoys, but there is absolutely no place in our diets – particularly children’s – for sugary drinks.
“The College would like to see the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks to make them less affordable – an approach that has worked before with smoking where there was a notable fall in the number of smokers once prices were increased,” she added.
The sugar levy also calls for government to set guidelines that “must legally be followed” with penalties for any food companies that do not reach the targets.
“We also need to promote alternatives, such as serving cool, pleasant tasting water at mealtimes, and ensuring that pure, filtered water is available in all public places,” Baker recommended.
Read Jamie’s Sugar Manifesto here.