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To love the idea of a "sugar tax?"

(138 Posts)
Toomanyhouseguests Mon 23-Jun-14 10:20:28

I really do try to be good, but sugar is so cheap and inviting that the kids diets are a constant, relentless battle that I always lose in the end.

I know it is nannying, but I love this idea:

The environment that I live in is a constant onslaught from outside the home of sugar. Sugar from school, sugar from neighbours, sugar from church, sugar from kids clubs etc. If that environment changed because junk wasn't so cheap, it would certainly help me! And, if I am honest, it would change some of my shopping habits. My husband loves snacks and treats as much as the kids do, but he also wants the monthly shopping budget to stay under control.

Anyone else feeling this way? Or am I the only one unable to hold the line here?

expatinscotland Mon 23-Jun-14 10:22:02

I think it's stupid. Police yourself. Why should I pay even more when I use the product responsibly just because some lazy arse has no fucking self-control?

We are taxed to all fuck as it is.

BertieBotts Mon 23-Jun-14 10:23:44

No thank you.

There are enough ridiculous artificial sweetners in our food.

Sugar is fine in moderation. I don't find we get too much from outside? What kind of quantities are we talking about?

SwiftRelease Mon 23-Jun-14 10:24:51

Definitely NBU, obesity levels are horrendous and NhS budget unaffordable. "Nanhy state" never ideal but needed here as with cigarettes, alcohol. Not just natter of indiv self-control, more food producers hiding sugar in every sauce, soup, ready meal, cereal etc to make it sell better, cynical bastards!

CoffeeTea103 Mon 23-Jun-14 10:25:13

Yabu, why should the people who have self control be penalized for those who can't. People need to take responsibility for themselves.

AnyaKnowIt Mon 23-Jun-14 10:26:23


gellicleCat Mon 23-Jun-14 10:26:29

Why not tax yourself and leave the rest of us out of it. Everytime you buy something sugary of fast-foody, drop a pound down the grid

SwiftRelease Mon 23-Jun-14 10:26:50

But Coffee, thats the point, isn't it? No penalty if you have in moderation. If everything you buy IS laden with sugar, then you are penalised

Cornettoninja Mon 23-Jun-14 10:27:07

I don't. I'm sick of 'tax it' being the solution to all of life's poisons. It's lazy, breeds resentment and is nothing more that topping up the coffers under the guise of concern.

I would much rather see stricter rules about what can go into our food legally with incentives/subsidies for companies that manufacture healthy foods within transparent guidelines.

SwiftRelease Mon 23-Jun-14 10:29:12

Cornetto- was just thinking the same, penalise at the point of manufacture to change the practices of the food industry. But don't see that happening any time soon!

Toomanyhouseguests Mon 23-Jun-14 10:31:33

Hmmm, maybe we are in a particularly generous neighbourhood. We can't get through the Easter candy before Halloween, the Halloween candy is still here when the Xmas treats roll in. I end up throwing some of it away always.

No one in our family is obese/overweight yet. But I can see the problem. Sugar is so cheap, it's easy for the class teacher to give all 30 children a chocolate bunny for Easter, etc. It all adds up and means parents are in an environment that isn't "on their side."

From my point of view, sugar is energy but has no nutritional value beyond calories. I think it can be compared to smoking as a public health issue.

CoolCat2014 Mon 23-Jun-14 10:32:07

Taxing it won't stop people eating it, otherwise no one would smoke or drink.

Sugar is fine in moderation, what is needed is better education and self discipline, which isn't something you can enforce.

Toomanyhouseguests Mon 23-Jun-14 10:33:32

I'm just as happy with your approach cornettoninja. Either would help.

sunbathe Mon 23-Jun-14 10:33:47


puzzlepiecebehindthecouch Mon 23-Jun-14 10:34:05

I loved the idea when I thought it was a taxi which delivered chocolate, donuts etc when you were breastfeeding and couldn't leave house to buy snacks to satisfy sugar craving..... (Must read thread title more carefully smile)

Toomanyhouseguests Mon 23-Jun-14 10:34:57

grin puzzle

TiggyD Mon 23-Jun-14 10:35:13

It'll just mean fat people will have less money.

gellicleCat Mon 23-Jun-14 10:40:49

wrong Tiggy.
The government will get more money
welfare payments will go up
fat people who cant work will get more money and even fatter

CecilyP Mon 23-Jun-14 10:44:07

Sugar is cheap - very cheap for a 1 kg bag. Chocolate Easter bunnies, not so cheap; that teacher is very generous. Those Easter bunnies also carry VAT at 20%. This is the only area where I think there is scope for taxation in that there are many sugary products that are currently VAT exempt, when they could actually be taxed as confectionary. Beyond that, I think you have to police yourself, their is no way that you can make any foodstuff so prohibitively expensive that it will deter people from buying.

Cornettoninja Mon 23-Jun-14 10:45:54

I think most people would be toomany, and that's why I think tax is a lazy solution.

Presuming I'm pretty average, I make my fair share of meals from fresh, but I'm also not adverse to using packet mixes, ready made sauces etc. I'm not a dietician, food scientist or gourmet chef so when I find out something like most commercial breads contain stupid amounts of sugar and/or salt, then actually I don't think the onus is on me to pay through the nose, I think it's on the companies to provide food that isn't dangerous. Market force pressure from consumers is rarely effective.

Which brings me to my next point of how would this sugar tax be implemented? Obviously fizzy drinks and chocolate are on the list, but what about the hidden stuff? Does that get a pass because it's not obvious and therefore the problem continues.

Moving away from tax as a general sticking plaster to everything would be my ideal. It very rarely seems to solve the actual problem it exists because of.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 23-Jun-14 10:49:46

People need to have self control. Simple as that.
I don't want to have to pay more for my odd sugary item purchases just because some people can not control their intake sensibly. Why penalise everyone for some peoples bad choices?
Plus it would spur more brands in to ditching sugar in favour of aspartame and other chemicals, which I can not drink or eat as they trigger my migraines.
so YABU.

Mominatrix Mon 23-Jun-14 10:51:24

What kind of sugar would you tax? Innocent smoothies and fruit juices are loaded with sugar - would they be included in your tax? Chocolate is not necessarily loaded with sugar - a punnet of grapes has more sugar in it than a bar of 75% chocolate. Would you tax the chocolate bar and not the grapes?

gellicleCat Mon 23-Jun-14 10:51:27

Its also a cultural thing Cornettoninja. Some countries have much higher sugar/salt in their processed food than do we, and many have a lot less.
In South Africa they call their diet 'sweet or meat' and its not a joke. Education and willpower is the answer, as you say

SaucyJack Mon 23-Jun-14 10:52:56

YABU. Making crap more expensive won't begin to solve the underlying problems.

I like the idea of stricter food controls though. I bought some low-fat caesar salad dressing from the Co-op yesterday. Got it home- looked at the label- and the second biggest ingredient (after water) was glucose-fructose syrup. From the label, it appeared I was making a healthier food choice. More fool me I know.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Mon 23-Jun-14 10:54:02


Sort yourself out rather than relying on someone else to force your hand. I hate it that in this country we get medical professionals who see it as their job to dictate what people can and can't do rather than treat people. Education is great, rule by dictat is not.

I would however like to see better information on packaging so we can make an informed choice. Particularly on things that you wouldn't expect to be high sugar, such as pasta sauces.

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