• Nik Chandarana

Sugar Tax - What you need to know


We all know only too well what it is like to have a sweet tooth.

Those lovely wonderful delights that we have all be surrounded by, the nostalgia of a childhood sweet or a favourite dessert. Sugary delights have been ingrained into us from such a young age that in turn the likelihood of us doing it with our own children is pretty high.

However, there is moderation and then there is excess. Throughout the years it has become apparent that sugar is of the greatest preservative, it makes everything last longer, but by far It makes all the products much more addictive. It means that our taste buds have become accustomed to such a taste and that for many once we go without, we start to crave.

Back when, sugar was a luxury, very little cooking was done with sugar and very little treats were sugar based, but now today in our modern world, it is something quite different, nearly everything we consume that is not fresh contains sugar.

One of the main dental issues in young children and adults is the requirement for fillings, this can be attributed to the increased intake of sugary products. The milk that we give our children before bedtime, the treats that we give them throughout the day, the fitness smoothies that we intake are all high in sugar levels.

In a way to bid farewell to our sugar addiction, it has been proposed that a tax will now follow our most sugary products – drinks.

Lots of countries already have this tax and have seen a steady reduction in the amount of sugar consumed. To date the the sugar tax has been the most direct and efficient method used to tackle the rising sugar epidemic.

How are we going to lessen our sugar intake?

In our 2016 UK budget the British government announced the introduction of a sugar tax, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Planned to come into effect in 2018, beverage manufacturers will be taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import.

Where will the extra sugar tax revenue go?

The total level of the tax has yet to be announced, but the measure is estimated to generate an additional £520 million a year in tax revenue which will be spent, in England, on funding for sport in UK primary schools.

It is proposed that pure fruit juices, milk-based drinks and the smallest producers will not be taxed. The tax will be imposed at the point of production or importation, in two bands. It is expected that total sugar content above 5g per 100 millilitres will be taxed at 18p per litre and drinks above 8g per 100 millilitres at 24p per litre.

Will the sugar tax even work?

It is expected that some manufacturers will reduce sugar content in order to avoid the taxation. The makers of Lucozade Energy announced in November 2016 that they would be lowering the sugar content in its drinks by more than 50 per cent.

Notable research on effect of excess sugar in modern diets in the UK With regard to a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, a study published in the British Medical Journal on 31 October 2013, postulated that a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would reduce obesity in the United Kingdom rates by about 1.3%, and concluded that taxing sugar-sweetened beverages was "a promising population measure to target population obesity, particularly among younger adults."

Campaigners want the sugar tax extended to include confectionery and sweets to help tackle childhood obesity.

What does sugar do to our teeth exactly?

Everyone knows that eating too much sugar leads to tooth decay. It is not the sugar itself that does the damage but after the process that happens after you consume the sugar.

The mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria Many of which are beneficial to the oral ecosystem, however harmful oral bacterial actually feed on the sugars that we consume and create acids that destroy our tooth enamel, Which is the shiny protective layer on the outside of our teeth.

Cavities are bacterial infections that are created by the acids and cause your teeth to wear a hole in them. Without treatment, the cavities can progress past the enamel and into deeper layers of the teeth causing pain, problems and sometimes tooth loss.

What can I do to prevent dental cavities?

Constant vigilance is key.

1:Brush your teeth once a day every day if not twice.

2:Floss in between the places that the toothbrush is unable to reach.

3:Limit yours and your child’s intake of sugar

4:Have Chidren brush their teeth before bedtime and after breakfast to wash away that bacteria filled surface.

5:Be sure to make your regular dentist appointments so that you can be advised of any problems or methods to reduce any teeth issues.

Top Tips to good oral hygiene for adults and children:

-Help your children with cleaning their teeth until they are old enough to tie their own shoe laces.

-If using an electric toothbrush, use it for a full 2 minutes, Put on a timer by the sink

-After brushing, encourage them to spit instead of rinsing

-All in moderation, 3 meals a day and 2 snacks in between, try to limit sugary drinks throughout the day and especially in the evenings, and try to give only water with meals , If your child is hungry in-b

etween these times, always try water first, often hunger is mistaken with thirst.

In our Autumn 2017 newsletter we have an article on a sugar alternative - Stevia. Look out for this.


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