Health impact assessment of the UK soft drinks industry levy

Briggs, A.D.M. et al. The Lancet Public Health. Published online: December 15 2016

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Background: In March, 2016, the UK Government proposed a tiered levy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs; high tax for drinks with >8 g of sugar per 100 mL, moderate tax for 5–8 g, and no tax for <5 g). We estimate the effect of possible industry responses to the levy on obesity, diabetes, and dental caries.

Interpretation: The health impact of the soft drinks levy is dependent on its implementation by industry. Uncertainty exists as to how industry will react and about estimation of health outcomes. Health gains could be maximised by substantial product reformulation, with additional benefits possible if the levy is passed on to purchasers through raising of the price of high-sugar and mid-sugar drinks and activities to increase the market share of low-sugar products.

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