UK Doctors: Tax Sodas, Restrict Junk Food Ads

A report from a professional organization representing almost all of Britain's doctors says drastic measures must be taken to stem a rising tide of obesity.

What's the Latest Development?


The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which represents nearly the whole of Britain's medical community, has released a report containing drastic recommendations for combating obesity. They include adding enough taxes to sodas and other sugary drinks so as to increase their price by at least 20 percent, removing junk food and vending machines from hospitals, and restricting junk food ad airtime to after 9:00 pm. With 25 percent of adult Britons classified as obese, a number expected to double by 2050, the organization considers obesity the "single greatest" threat to public health. 

What's the Big Idea?

It is the first time the academy has come together so strongly on a single issue. President Terence Stephenson says the report calls for soft drinks and junk food to be treated essentially like cigarettes: "That required things like a ban on advertising and a reduction in marketing and the association of smoking with sporting activities - that helped people move away from smoking." Not surprisingly, food industry associations are criticizing the report; the British Soft Drinks Association says that taxing soft drinks wouldn't cure a problem "which is about overall diet and levels of activity."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC News

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less