The fizzy drinks tax | Views by Georgia

On the 3rd September Jamie Oliver launched a government petition for a 7p tax on fizzy drinks, in an effort to lower the risk of type two diabetes, obesity, unnecessary teeth operations and amputations.

    He released a programme informing the public of this matter on Channel 4 rightly named ‘Sugar Rush’ – you can find the full programme on the Channel 4 website (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-sugar-rush). The programme aimed to shock the public into reconsidering their sugar intake. I for one am one of those deeply horrified by how much sugar we eat daily without knowing it.

    One of the leading UK doctors said that we should be having a maximum of 7 teaspoons of sugar per day. Jamie invited a specialist into his kitchen space and asked him to make up his idea of healthy everyday meals.

    First was breakfast. Jamie poured a ‘man sized’ portion of bran flakes into a bowl, added some lemon yoghurt and blueberries. The total amount of hidden sugars in that single portion was 14 teaspoons. It’s the first meal of the day and you’ve already doubled your recommended amount of sugar.

     Jamie then went through lunch and a snack and he cooked up a lovely seafood stir-fry for dinner. The total amount of sugar for a whole days worth of healthy meals was 37 teaspoons. That’s over 5 times the recommended daily amount.

     Jamie also visited a small boy while he was in hospital having all of his baby teeth removed due to his extortionate fizzy drink intake. The agony is was in after the operation was tragic, and it really tugged on my heartstrings. But it also made me incredibly angry and frustrated that nothing is being done to stop this. Why didn’t his parents control his intake? And why did they have to let it come to this?

     A girl of 15 has type two diabetes due to her getting pocket money from a young age and spending it on sweets and fizzy drinks after school. Her mother gave up on home cooking, and started to buy quick and easy ready-meals for dinner. From the age of 12 things took a turn for the worst. Weight gain and constant sugar cravings were the first sign. When asked about how she felt about type two diabetes, she said, “It sucks.”

    The programme is incredibly informative and really opened my eyes to how awful our sugar consumption has become.

    Jamie went to Mexico to see how the fizzy drink tax has benefitted the people living there. The money not spent on fizzy drinks has really helped their whole living system, and there has been less and less amputations and cases of type two diabetes since the tax has started. In the UK there is 6000 amputations due to diabetes every year, but in Mexico there were thousands more, until the fizzy drinks tax was put into place.

  I’m not recommending that you ban your kids from sugar for life because sometimes it is unavoidable. I’m suggesting that you read the sugar labels on foods, get rid of fizzy drinks and replace them with water, cook fresh meals and keep your family healthy.

   The link to Jamie’s petition is below, so please do sign it for the benefit of the future generation, the little one that is living in your home.

Fizzy Drinks Tax Petition - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106651