8 votes

Norwegian sugar tax sends sweet-lovers over border to Sweden

3 comments

  1. [3]
    DanBC
    Link
    They've reduced average consumption to 24 kg per year. That's still about 15 teaspoons of sugar per day. I don't know anything about Finland's public health stats so I don't know what they're...

    They've reduced average consumption to 24 kg per year. That's still about 15 teaspoons of sugar per day. I don't know anything about Finland's public health stats so I don't know what they're counting: do they include infants in the averages? Do they include sugars from whole fruit?

    while sugary drinks – including “diet” drinks containing artificial sweeteners – are taxed at about 43p a litre.

    I'd be interested in how they're justifying the tax on drinks with artificial sweeteners and no sugars.

    In Britain, meanwhile, Public Health England says sugar consumption rose 2.6% between 2015 and 2018, an increase it blamed on people eating more very sugary products – of which there are more and more in the shops. Roughly one in six children and young people are obese in Norway, compared with one in three in the UK.

    There's something a bit weird happening in the UK. There's a voluntary code for small chocolate bars to limit calories to 250 calories per bar. So, you go to the shop and you can buy a single bar for about 70pence that has 250 calories. But in the same store you can normally find a 4 pack of slightly smaller bars for £1. I know it's dumb, but in the past I really struggled to buy the single bar. I'd buy the 4 pack and tell myself that I'd eat a single bar per day. Of course, I'd get back home and scoff all 4 that day. Luckily, I've fixed that but I can see how others could easily fall into a trap. It's this, and the reaction to the sugar tax on drinks, that makes me realise that light-touch regulation probably isn't going to work and that we need pretty fierce regulation to get any change.

    Unfortunately the current Conservative party are so against regulation that they're probably going to roll back existing regulation rather than implementing any new regs.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Rocket_Man
      Link Parent
      Aren't there other options besides taxing candy? Such as focusing more on nutrition education, getting people to exercise, providing some function for sugar substitutes, and subsidizing healthier...

      Aren't there other options besides taxing candy? Such as focusing more on nutrition education, getting people to exercise, providing some function for sugar substitutes, and subsidizing healthier foods. These can exist with moderate taxation of sugary foods. But I think all of these things should remain reasonable and this article is somewhat about the taxes becoming unreasonable.

      3 votes
      1. Loire
        Link Parent
        People know sugar is bad and they know exercise is good. That isn't what's keeping them from being healthy. Sugar tastes good, and it makes us feel good temporarily when we eat it. No amount of...

        nutrition education, getting people to exercise

        People know sugar is bad and they know exercise is good. That isn't what's keeping them from being healthy.

        Sugar tastes good, and it makes us feel good temporarily when we eat it. No amount of "education" stops our instinct to cram sugar rich foods into our gullet. I am incredibly healthy, well educated and eat well but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes succumb to buying a bag of sour patch kids at the gas station before a long drive. Sugar is a drug.

        Sin taxes have proven effective and require very little input from the government while also providing and additional source of revenue.

        6 votes