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Call for tax on sugary soft drinks

A new tax of 20p a litre should be levied on sugary soft drinks with the proceeds going towards child health, a report by a food charity recommends. But the Health Secretary told ITV's The Agenda he is "sceptical about legislation."

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Health Secretary 'sceptical' of legislating to restrict sugar in food

Speaking on the first episode of series three of The Agenda with Tom Bradby to be broadcast on ITV at 10.35pm tonight, Jeremy Hunt spoke about sugar and obesity.

Asked whether he would impose a tax on sugary foods, the Health Secretary said:

"I'm sceptical of legislation... in the end this is a matter of individual choice. It's a matter of people making decisions about their own lives but I don't rule it out and there are things that we're doing."

Jeremy Hunt is 'sceptical of legislation' to restrict sugar in foods Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

On why there is legislation for harmful substances such as tobacco and not for sugar, Mr Hunt said:

"We do legislate for lots of harmful substances and I think we've got to do everything. We need to have a mix, we need to educate people but all I'm saying is the difference between cigarettes and chocolate is that in moderation chocolate is fine. Cigarettes are harmful even in moderation."

• Other guests on tonight’s programme are actress Andrea Riseborough, journalist Jane Moore and comedian David Baddiel.

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