Two years ago, in a bid to tackle childhood obesity and raise an expected £500 million to invest in school sports, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his Budget that Britain will become one of the first countries in the world to launch a sugar tax on sugary drinks.
He told MPs: “Doing the right thing for the next generation is what this government and this Budget is about.”
Today, April 6th, 2018, that tax is implemented.
A good many companies have used the two years to change ingredients and refine their products to bring their sugar content below the taxable level, which is applaudable. The idea then was that the tax would be levied on the drinks companies, not consumers. But, it seems, those that haven’t met the taxable level are looking to pass that cost onto their already financially beleaguered customer which, in turn, we hope the rising costs will make people think twice before buying them.
Kidney Cancer UK CEO, Nicholas Turkentine commented: “Along with people’s general health and fitness, weight gain leading to obesity is a key concern as it increases the chances of kidney cancer we want to see this tax really make a difference to people’s health. Kidney cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK and the fifth most common cancer in men and tenth in women. Kidney Cancer UK welcomes the arrival of anything that helps reduce sugar intake and encourages a healthy lifestyle.”
10 ways to reduce your sugar intake.
1. Change to porridge
Many breakfast cereals – even those, such as granola, which purport to be healthy, are loaded with sugar. Porridge is a great alternative; mix up your toppings so you don’t get bored.
2. Avoid so-called low-fat foods
If something looks too good to be true it often is so don’t be fooled by anything marked “low-fat”, this often means it’s loaded out with sugary carbs to replace lost flavour.
3. Eat more protein
Sugar cravings hit when your blood sugar levels spike, then plummet. Tackle this by increasing the protein in your diet – it’ll leave you feeling satisfied for longer by keeping your blood sugar levels more stable.
4. Investigate your yoghurt
Sweetened fruit yoghurts should be treated like a pudding and not – as the adverts would have you believe – a virtuous snack. Have sparingly. Make the unsweetened, full-fat Greek stuff your go-to instead.
5. Make it with your own sweet hands
Ready-meals and fast foods have an alarming amount of sugar (look under ‘carbohydrate’). Sauces that come in jars are particularly bad. Simply don’t buy them, more often than not they are so simple and quick to cook from scratch.
6. Go to dark with your chocolate
We know dark chocolate has less sugar than milk or white so you can giving you a cocoa hit without disrupting your blood sugar. It’s been linked to a range of healthy mind and body benefits, too. Just remember to stop after a couple of squares.
7. Use the mantra: wholegrain, wholegrain, wholegrain
The old rules still apply. Look to eat things in a state as close to natural as possible, and swap white carbs for wholegrain or wholemeal wherever and whenever you can.
8. Get baking
Get all Britain’s Biggest Bake off on yourself and find the time to bake your own. You can control or substitute the sugars you add to bread, cakes and pastries; they will still taste yummy and healthier.
9. Fulfill those hunger pangs and cravings with other flavours
Got a particularly powerful sugar craving? Many people find substituting other strong-tasting snacks, like cheese with oatcakes and pickled onion! It can help take the edge off.
10. Fruit isn’t always the healthy alternative
Choose your fruit carefully. Fruit juice and dried fruit are full of a type of sugar called fructose; even if they count towards one of your five-a-day, they are still very sugary so read the labels and be aware.