Fizzy tax

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has just put out a set of recommendations to tackle the obesity crisis in the UK where “1 in 4 adults are classified as obese” $-$ as always numbers like these are tricky to take at face value and it would be helpful to know more about how they are estimated and what differences are within the overall population. Still the UK is estimated as the 15th country with the highest average BMI in the world.

I think it’s interesting that one of the actions proposed by the document is the introduction of a tax to increase, by up to 20%, the cost of sugary drinks. This finds me very much in agreement and I have ranted about this already; surely the effectiveness of such a policy needs to be carefully addressed and evaluated using empirical evidence (and of course cost-effectiveness methods can be easily brought to bear in this case). But it is obvious in my mind that in the face of a clear and well documented health risk, recent governments have not done all in their power to limit the impact of the problem.

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