A study of the impact of the proposed ‘Sugar Tax’ on Sugar Sweetened Beverage purchase and consumption
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are being purchased and consumed by parents and their young children, resulting in exponentially high rates of obesity, diabetes and dental problems both in childhood and later life. The frequency of consumption is increasing year on year, as are the associated health problems. To combat this, the UK Government has announced the introduction of the ‘Sugar Tax’, which will be levied on all beverages with added sugar. The objectives of the study are to identify parents’ current SSB buying habits, and assess whether the ‘Sugar Tax’ will impact them. Differential levels of taxation will be assessed in the study. An online questionnaire was distributed to parents of all children in a primary school in Manchester. Questions focussed on current buying habits, frequency and type of SSB purchased, factors which influence purchase and the impact that the ‘Sugar Tax’ will have on these. There were 89 respondents to the questionnaire (response rate 18%). 73% reported purchasing SSBs, with 59.2% purchasing for both themselves and their children. Fruit juice was the SSB purchased at the highest rate, possibly due to the misconception of its’ nutritional value; an important factor for 50% of respondents. Most respondents would continue to purchase SSBs if the tax was levied at 10%, and it would take an increase of 30% to affect the majority of respondents’ buying habits; conceivably because price was identified as one of the lowest priorities for many respondents. A high percentage of parents are purchasing SSBs for consumption by both themselves and their children. Most respondents had a positive attitude towards the ‘Sugar Tax’ and believe that it is a constructive effort by the Government, however the results highlight the need for the tax to invoke a high price increase for it to have a genuine impact on buying and consumption habits.
BSc (Hons) Environmental Health
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