Reducing sugar consumption: Is taxation effective?

shutterstock_740241994-1 [Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock]

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that over-consumption of free sugars is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay and free sugars are not essential nutrients for human health.

It claims that in the current food environment, it is very easy to consume too many free sugars. According to latest Eurostat estimates, 51.6 % of the EU’s population (18 and over) was overweight in 2014.

WHO insists that taxing sugar is an effective way to have a positive health impact. On the other hand, the industry emphasizes that there is no concrete evidence supporting this claim and says that product reformulation, among other intervention, could bring the desired results.

In this Special Report, EURACTIV will analyse the existing challenges policymakers face when it comes to sugar taxes in the EU as well as the several initiatives that have been taken ranging from food reformulation to the school level.

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