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Medical chief: May need sugar tax to tackle obesity

A "sugar tax" may have to be introduced to curb child and adult obesity, the chief medical officer for England has warned.

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Sugar tax may be necessary, warns medical chief

The government may be forced into imposing a 'sugar tax', England's chief medical officer has warned. Credit: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A "sugar tax" may be inevitable if the government cannot take strong action to reduce levels in food and drink, England's chief medical officer has warned.

Speaking to MPs this afternoon, Dame Sally Davies said that she expected research to show that "sugar is addictive".

Dame Sally told the House of Commons health committee that the government must be "strong" with food and drink manufacturers, as they wouldn't cut sugar levels themselves.

Until then, she warned: "We may need to move toward some kind of sugar tax, but I hope we don't have to."

In October, experts from Oxford and Reading universities argued a 20% tax on sugary drinks would cut the number of overweight people in the UK by 285,000.

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