Baroness Redfern – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Redfern on 2016-09-15.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what alternatives to a sugar tax they have considered to reduce levels of childhood obesity.

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen

In developing Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action we looked at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight and obese. The policies in the plan focus on the ones that are likely to have the biggest impact on childhood obesity. In addition to the soft drinks industry levy, this includes the sugar reduction programme, helping all children to enjoy an hour of physical activity every day and a healthy rating scheme for primary schools.

The plan is informed by the latest research and evidence, including from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report Carbohydrates and Health, Public Health England’s evidence package Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, other government departments, debates in this House and various reports from key stakeholders including the Health Select Committee.

We are confident that the measures we have announced will make a real difference and estimate could reduce childhood obesity rates by about a fifth (330,000) over the next ten years. Though we are clear in our goals and firm in the action we will take, the launch of this plan represents the start of a conversation, rather than the final word.

Copies of Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action, Carbohydrates and Health and Sugar reduction: the evidence for action are attached.