This follows research from both Oxford and Reading Universities, which estimate that a tax would reduce sales by 15 percent and that people would buy (so called) healthier beverages like orange juice, milk and diet drinks instead. (See the BBC news article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24759517)
The point is: sugar free sodas and fruit juices are just as guilty of causing weight gain…
Carbonated drinks containing caffeine (& other chemicals) stimulate the adrenal glands to release cortisol, our "fight of flee" hormone. Cortisol provides the muscles with glucose, speeds up our heart rate while slowing digestion. When we're not burning this rush of glucose (through either running or fighting for survival) the excess is stored as fat.
Fruit juices (both fresh and from concentrate) are only marginally better… because although they contain vitamins and antioxidants, are also full of sugar (fructose & glucose) which again, needs to be burned through exercise and our metabolism.
The governments' so called "obesity tax" is not the answer! Weight gain isn't only about drinking sugary beverages, but encompasses a whole range of bad food and lifestyle choices.
Taxing food, such as the Danish tax on Saturated fats and the Hungarian taxes on on packaged foods high in salt, fat or sugar have shown to disproportionately affect the poor - because healthier food options are normally more expensive.
If the Government is serious about helping people to loose weight, then better (more honest) education, easier access to healthy foods and better labelling laws are needed.
So what are some of the alternatives to soft drinks and juices?
- Make your own iced tea (500ml cold rooibos tea, 250ml peach juice and fresh mint. Serve over
- Try drinking caffeine free alternatives (such as chicory coffee, herbal tea or rooibos)
- Limit your sugar intake by diluting your juice 1:1
- Slimline tonic with fresh lemon or orange slices
- Chilled Tomato juice with a hint of tobasco and lemon
Find out more about "Why food and drink taxes don't work" - www.fooddrinktax.eu