Sugar tax? Health economics demands ALL unhealthy foods be VATable

The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy says a tax on all unhealthy food would disincentivise consumption and ‘provide tax receipts towards health care expenditure’.

The British Medical Association wants a 20% tax on sugary drinks. We now know that excess sugar can damage teeth, promote obesity, type 2 diabetes and also perhaps Alzheimer’s diesease (as type 3 diabetes).

In a statement published earlier today Miguel Toribio-Mateas, Chairman of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) said “All unhealthy foods should carry VAT. This would be possible if the EU Nutrient Profiles, were in place. They are an important part of the implementation of the 2004 EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation designed to ensure that health claims are not made on unhealthy foods. But the nutrient profiles are 11 years overdue making a farce of the EU health claims regime. The public has been left totally unprotected. Once unhealthy foods can be formally defined  based on nutrient profiles, they should all become VATable. This would go a long way to both disincentivising the public from consuming unhealthy food and providing tax receipts towards health care expenditure.”

Mr Toribio-Mateas added “educating the general public should be the primary strategy to halt the rise in chronic preventable diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. This is now are essential for preserving our National Health Service’s budget for more acute needs. These conditions do not happen overnight but develop insidiously before they become apparent. There is no doubting the evidence which shows that every single food and lifestyle choice one makes, can influence one’s health positively or negatively. This is particularly true for sugar intake.”

Download the BMA Report

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print Friendly, PDF & Email