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Sugary drinks

Decreasing consumption of high-sugar drinks through new tax design

Case study | |

In 2016, the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland announced that the Soft Drinks Industry Levy would come into effect in 2018. The design and implementation of the levy were informed by a public consultation in 2016. Acknowledging that individual behaviour change is challenging, the tax was designed to target producer behaviour instead, by encouraging reformulation through a tax that escalated according to sugar levels in the drink. This caused the soft drinks industry to significantly reduce the amount of sugars in their products, leading to a 30% reduction of sugars sold per capita per day from soft drinks (1).




  1. Bandy LK,  Scarborough P, Harrington RA,  Rayner  M, Jebb  SA.  Reductions in sugar sales  from soft drinks in the UK from 2015 to  2018. BMC  Med.  2020;18(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1477-4.
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