A recent UK report has found that British teenagers consume three times more the recommended limit of sugar intake. They consume sugary drinks equivalent of nearly a bathtub on average in a year, Cancer Research UK said in a report.
Sugary drinks have become their main source of added sugar, making up 30 per cent of their total intake, the researchers said. “It’s shocking that teenagers are drinking the equivalent of a bathtub of sugary drinks a year,” said Alison Cox, Director at Cancer Research UK — charity research organisation in Britain. According to previous studies, consumption of sugary drinks results in greater weight gain as well as increases body mass index (BMI) — a risk factor for many diseases, such as diabetes and various form of cancers.
The increased consumption should be minimised by imposing food taxes, the researchers suggested. “We urgently need to stop this happening and the good news is that the sugar tax will play a crucial role in helping to curb this behaviour,” Cox said.
The introduction of a 20 per cent excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could prevent 3.7 million people from becoming obese by 2025, the study noted. The food taxes can both achieve a reduction in the consumption of added sugar as well as encourage manufacturers to reduce levels of sugar or fat in their products.
In addition, the government should also place a ban on the junk food advertising on TV before 9pm, the researchers recommended.