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Citing Rising Childhood Obesity, British Parliamentarians Call For 'Sugar Tax' On Sweetened Drinks

Update Date: Dec 01, 2015 01:39 PM EST
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A group of British lawmakers on Monday called for greater regulation of unhealthy foods and drinks citing rising childhood obesity.

In a report published on Monday, Britain's Parliament Health Committee called for a 20 percent tax on full sugar drinks besides regulations on advertising and marketing of food and beverages. The move did not go down well with the food industry which argued the findings did not consider the plight of a tax-burdened consumer.

The Wall Street Journal stated that Monday's report comes after Public Health England issued similar recommendations last month, using celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's voice for the campaign.

In its report on Monday, the committee highlighted that a fifth of children start school overweight or obese and the fraction increases to a third by the time they leave, according to Schoolsweek. The committee also recommended that all schools follow the new food standards introduced in January this year, requiring schools to provide three different fruits and vegetables every week besides making milk available to children at least once a day.

According to Reuters, the recommendations of the committee have been criticized by the food industry. Ian Wright, director general of Britain's Food and Drink Federation said the committee lost an opportunity to make independent contributions to the debate and ended up ignoring the hard-pressed consumer.

The prime minister's office also issued a statement saying that David Cameron does not think a sugar-tax is the way ahead. Instead his government would unveil a strategy to combat to obesity in the New Year.

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