Taxing sugar

You might imagine a firm selling sugar free sweets would be in favour of a tax on products containing sugar.  Overall I think it is a bad idea, partly because the way VAT is charged on food is already very complicated and pulling more more items into VAT because of their sugar content would make it even more complicated.   How much sugar should something have to make it more highly taxed?

Before we start taxing products that contain sugar I believe it would be better to try and improve our understanding of where sugar occurs in our diets.  It is easy to forget that products like baked beans and tomato ketchup have a high sugar content.  Many breakfast cereals and "healthy" snack bars also contain a lot of sugar from various sources.

The world of sugar is full of urban myths.  One is that Honey is special and does not count as part of your sugar intake.  Well, any diabetic person will tell you they have to watch out for sugar from any source.  Certain industries like the smoothie industry have  convinced us that smoothies are better for us than soft drinks when they can have just as much sugar in them, though they do have nutrients from the fruit.in them   It is worth remembering  that if you are thirsty the best drink is water.  

The best way we can improve  our diets and reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes is to understand the food we eat, to know which foods have a lot of sugar and to be careful about how much we eat.  A little sugar is not bad for you, but having a lot of sugar in everything will certainly not improve your health.  And having a chocolate bar once a week doesn't really do anyone any harm especially if it  is sweetened with Stevia like the chocolate we sell.

June 11, 2015 by Peter Simons
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