New research has been published about the effects of taxing soft drinks with the aim of reducing obesity rates. We speak to Jon Griffin from Kent Scientific Services, Adam Briggs from Oxford University and Gavin Partington of the British Soft Drinks Association
Health experts who have called for a 20% tax on sugary soft drinks say the move could raise more than £275 million each year for the treasury - around 8 pence per person, per week.
This saving "could be used to increase NHS funding during a period of budget restrictions or to subsidise foods with health benefits, such as fruit and vegetables," researchers from Oxford and Reading universities said.
Calls for a 20% tax hike on fizzy drinks have been met with skepticism by Cambridge University clinical biochemistry and medicine professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly.
Whilst any effective discouragement to the ingestion of sugary beverages would likely have a health benefit on society, taxation of specific foods is likely to be currently politically undeliverable in most democracies.
A workable alternative might be to encourage the major companies to switch to the aggressive promotion and marketing of less harmful versions of their products.
Doctors who have called on the Government to introduce a 20% tax on sugary drinks say 16 to 29-year-olds consume the most sugary drinks - an average of 300ml per day, compared to 60ml among those aged over 50.
Younger adults and children consume much greater quantities of sugary drinks.
This is a concern for their health, not only in terms of diabetes and obesity, but also tooth decay.
Our work suggests that a sugary drinks tax would have a much greater impact in terms of reducing obesity in younger adults.
A 20% tax on sugary drinks would cut the number of overweight people in the UK by 285,000 over 10 years, according to experts from Oxford and Reading universities.
A tax on the drinks, which the researchers say are linked to "ill health" and have "no beneficial nutrients", could reduce cut the number of people who are obese by 180,000 alone, according to the findings printed in British Medical Journal .
Oxford University is getting part of £35million grant to develop new technologies for research into cancer.
With the funding, the university will be a centre for cancer imaging. It's hoped the new technology will help experts understand how the disease develops in the body.
We are all programmed to recognise faces and download vital information about a person's identity, gender and personality. But we all make mistakes. Now new research at the Universities of Surrey and Oxford is making face recognition by computer deadly accurate.
In fact, their work is becoming an important tool in the hunt for terrorists and criminals. Fred joined PhD student Paul Koppen for a photo session.
A survey shows students at Oxford University enjoy a good quality of life. The university is in the top five English institutions in the category. The survey also shows graduates' earning power is among the best.
A new drug has been approved by the European Medicines Agency which could offer better treatment to patients with multiple sclerosis. Alemtuzumab will give people who have the disease the chance to live without the side effects for much longer.
Symptoms of the disease can include loss of physical skills, sensation, vision and bladder control.
Professor Herman Waldmann was involved in the early discovery work of the antibody drug called Campath-1H at Cambridge University. It was originally used to treat leukaemia. He continued to study the drug for two decades while at Oxford University.
The university have launched a new animation to replicate a MRI scan and how our brain works.
Dr Stuart Clare of Oxford University, lead scientific advisor on the animation, said:
‘The animation beautifully shows what is going on inside the body during an FMRI scan, right down to the atomic level, and how the very strong magnet at the core of the machine gives us incredible detail on brain function.
‘Ruby Wax has a real interest in the neuroscience of mental health, something that we are researching here in Oxford, and we were delighted that she agreed to voice the animation.’