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Cameron rejects calls for 'sugar tax' after major report

The Prime Minister has rejected calls from health experts for a tax on sugary food and drinks, despite a major report saying it could help tackle the UK's obesity crisis.

Downing Street said David Cameron had not read the Public Health England study suggesting a 10-20% tax, but added that he does not "see the need" for taxation on sugar.

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Health experts urge government to consider sugar tax

The report recommended a 10-20% tax on sugary goods. Credit: PA

A number of health experts have urged the government to consider introducing a sugar tax, after a Public Health England report recommended the measure. Reacting to the report, Professor Sheila Hollins, chairwoman of the British Medical Association's board of science said: "Doctors are increasingly concerned about the impact of poor diet, which is responsible for up to 70,000 deaths a year, and has the greatest impact on the NHS budget, costing £6 billion annually.

"We urge the Government to give real and urgent consideration to Public Health England's recommendations including restricting the marketing of high-sugar products, reducing promotions of sugary food and drink, and introducing a 10-20% sugar tax," she said.

the tax level Public Health England said should be introduced on sugary goods

Julian Hamilton-Shield, professor of diabetes and etabolic endocrinology at the University of Bristol, said: "As a doctor who has spent over 15 years treating morbid childhood obesity and its consequences, I welcome this report that targets a series of levers designed to reduce sugar consumption in the whole population but more importantly children.

"I especially welcome the suggestions for reducing price promotion of sugar-containing foods, reduced targeting of children through advertising and the suggested taxation of sugar-containing beverages which should be at the higher level suggested of 20%."

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