The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says a major UK study revealing that sugar in soft drinks sold in the UK has dropped by 30 per cent since 2015 shows that sugary drinks taxes work.

The reduction since 2015 is equal to 4.6g per person per day.

“The researchers say that the UK’s soft drinks levy is behind the reduction,” said NZDA sugary drinks spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.

“And it’s largely not consumers driving the change. What has happened is the beverage industry has changed how products are formulated.

“The two-tiers of soft drink levies has seen a dramatic reduction in overall sugar levels. It has meant the policy had an impact before being introduced, and the subsequent consumer reaction has only strengthened the impact of this.” 

NZDA will continue to urge the government to introduce a sugary drinks levy.

“We haven’t shied away from our position that New Zealand needs to introduce an excise on sugary drinks consistent with WHO guidelines,” concludes Dr Beaglehole. 

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