News / Sugary Drinks Duty

The next government could save the NHS £300 million by introducing a sugary drinks duty

Children’s Food Campaign has today published a tool that allows people to view the impact a sugary drinks duty could have in their local area.

The next government could save the NHS £300 million by introducing a sugary drinks duty.

The Children’s Food Campaign has published an interactive tool on its website that allows people to view the impact a sugary drinks duty could have in their local area. The figures show that the introduction of a duty on sugary drinks could reduce cases of diet-related diseases by tens of thousands, as well as save the NHS and public health budgets in England £300 million over twenty years.

Soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 4-10 years and teenagers.  The research, published in association with University of Liverpool academic Brendan Collins and Food Active, shows that if the government introduced a 20 pence per litre sugary drinks duty in England, then the impact nationally over twenty years could be to:

  • reduce the cases of diabetes by just under 50,000
  • prevent almost 9000 cases of bowel cancer
  • reduce strokes and cases of coronary heart disease by over 33,000
  • save the NHS at least £15million a year in healthcare costs for treating those diseases.
  • improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of residents.

Outside of London, the impact on obesity and calorie reduction could be greatest in places such as Slough, Manchester, Luton, Blackburn, Leicester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Bradford and Nottingham, which have the highest relative proportion of younger demographics who typically consume the most sugary drinks.  The local authorities set to gain the most total savings and health benefits from a sugary drinks duty include Birmingham, Leeds, Durham, Cornwall, Sheffield and Bradford – due to their large populations.

The interactive tool, along with full data sources and methodology, can be viewed at www.childrenshealthfund.org.uk

 

Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said:

“Current taxes on foods are a mess, and don’t support people choosing healthier options. A 20p per litre sugary drinks duty would save lives and money across England, and ease the pressure on NHS services locally.  It is a logical, proportionate and effective measure. Using the revenue to set up a Children’s Health Fund, paying for programmes to improve children’s health and protect the environment they grow up in, would also ensure that this was a progressive measure, benefiting families in poverty and on low incomes.”

“Public health directors in North West England and in Cardiff, as well as the London Health Commission, have publicly backed a sugary drinks duty.  We hope this new research encourages public health directors across England to join their counterparts in calling for the government to introduce a nationwide duty.”

 

Meradin Peachey, Faculty of Public Health’s Vice President for Standards and Director of Public Health in Newham:

“Just as extra taxes on cigarettes have helped to change purchasing habits and reduce smoking, adding 20p per litre onto the price of sugary drinks would encourage people to consume less and lead to improvements in quality of life. I hope this new research strengthen the case for the government to introduce a nationwide duty.”

 

Christine Lewis, national officer, Unison:

“Diet-related ill health disproportionally affects lower income groups. We support the calls for a sugary drinks duty, and would like to see the money raised used for a Children’s Health Fund to further tackle health inequalities and to continue supporting the great improvements in school food.”

 

CitizensUK, the alliance of local community organising groups, including groups in Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Leeds and London, said:

“We are calling for a Children’s Health Fund to enable a step-change in early intervention. Since there is no spare money in the NHS, we are calling for a duty on sugary drinks, which will itself reduce diabetes and obesity.”

 

Professor Damien Walmsley, British Dental Association’s scientific adviser:

"A tax on sugary drinks and food is a no brainer. It's a scandal that one in eight of our three-year olds currently experiences tooth decay. It's time we tackled the problem at source.” 

 

Contact:

For further information and interviews, please contact Malcolm Clark on 0203 5596 777 or 07733322148, or malcolm@sustainweb.org

Copies of the data, including a full region-by-region breakdown by local authority, can be emailed to you. Full data sources and methodology can be viewed at www.childrenshealthfund.org.uk

 

Notes:

 

1) The Sugary Drinks Duty Impact Model

The model used to show the impact of a 20% duty on sugar sweetened beverages was created by Brendan Collins, Research Fellow in Health Economics, University of Liverpool. He presented the research to the Society for Social Medicine, 58th Annual Scientific Meeting, Keble College, University of Oxford, on 12 September 2014.

The model shows the impact of a possible sugary drinks duty on rates of obesity and obesity-related disease over 20 years for each local authority. Broadly speaking, as a duty makes sugary drinks more expensive, so consumption reduces. As the number of daily calories consumed reduces, so obesity rates then fall. This then leads to a decrease in obesity-related disease incidence and the associated quality adjusted life year loss.

An interactive version of the model, along with data sources and methodology, can be viewed at www.childrenshealthfund.org.uk 

The results are based on national sugary drinks consumption levels and then applied to the population-specific data for each local authority. There are different ways of measuring how much sugar sweetened drinks we consume, therefore the model includes a range of values based on these estimates.  In total the model takes 5 different parameters and runs 10,000 possible scenarios based on the data, to come up with the highest impact and lowest impact scenarios. It is the mean of these two scenarios that the final figures are drawn from.

The model only considers the effect of the duty itself, so any benefits coming from the expenditure of the money raised from the duty (via a Children’s Health Fund or similar) could potentially further increase the impact and health improvements.

The model also does not include the impact on dental health – so the NHS savings and health benefits would be expected to even greater with that aspect included.

 

2) Food Active

We acknowledge the support of Food Active, a Healthy Weight Campaign established by the North West Directors of Public Health, who funded Brendan Collin’s research and also the creation of the online interactive model. www.foodactive.org.uk

 

Appendices – key data on the impact of a sugary drinks duty: 

Note: Quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is a measure of the state of health of a person in which the benefits, in terms of length of life, are adjusted to reflect the quality of life. One QALY is equal to 1 year of life in perfect health. It is often measured in terms of the person's ability to perform the activities of daily life, free from pain and mental disturbance. 

1) Regional and national totals

This table is ordered in order of greatest healthcare cost savings over a 20 year period

 

Region

Reduction in calories per day-mid

Estimated change in diabetes cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Stroke/CHD cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Cancer  cases (over 20 years)

Estimated QALYs gained (over 20 years)

Total health cost savings (over 20 years) (£) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South East

6.52

-7,736

-5,273

-1,383

130,132

47,115,879

London

6.76

-6,359

-4,334

-1,137

106,958

38,725,539

North West

6.52

-6,318

-4,306

-1,130

106,283

38,481,068

West Midlands

6.50

-5,581

-3,804

-998

93,887

33,992,927

Yorkshire & Humber

6.50

-5,392

-3,675

-964

90,700

32,839,248

East of England

6.50

-5,222

-3,559

-934

87,846

31,805,974

South West

6.32

-4,986

-3,398

-891

83,863

30,363,734

East Midlands

6.50

-4,231

-2,884

-756

71,172

25,768,796

North East

6.51

-2,813

-1,917

-503

47,310

17,129,253

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

England

6.51

-48,638

-33,150

-8,695

818,151

£296,222,417

 

2) Top 25 local authorities in England with greatest calorie reduction

This table is ordered in order of greatest average calorie reduction per resident aged 4 years or older

 

Region

Area Name

Reduction in calories per day-mid

Estimated change in diabetes cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Stroke/CHD cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Cancer  cases (over 20 years)

Estimated QALYs gained (over 20 years)

Total health cost savings (over 20 years) (£) 

London

Newham LB

7.15

-256

-174

-46

4,298

1,556,226

London

Tower Hamlets LB

7.02

-173

-118

-31

2,911

1,054,143

South East

Slough UA

6.98

-115

-79

-21

1,942

703,040

London

Hackney LB

6.96

-191

-130

-34

3,212

1,162,809

London

Barking and Dagenham LB

6.95

-188

-128

-34

3,160

1,144,284

London

Haringey LB

6.92

-187

-127

-33

3,141

1,137,261

North West

Manchester MCD

6.89

-404

-275

-72

6,788

2,457,657

East of England

Luton UA

6.88

-194

-132

-35

3,266

1,182,464

London

Waltham Forest LB

6.87

-209

-142

-37

3,512

1,271,556

London

Brent LB

6.86

-237

-162

-42

3,986

1,443,318

London

Lambeth LB

6.86

-235

-160

-42

3,952

1,431,049

North West

Blackburn with Darwen UA

6.86

-134

-91

-24

2,251

815,170

London

Southwark LB

6.86

-258

-176

-46

4,337

1,570,138

London

Greenwich LB

6.86

-203

-138

-36

3,414

1,235,986

London

Redbridge LB

6.86

-227

-155

-41

3,813

1,380,657

East Midlands

Leicester UA

6.85

-276

-188

-49

4,651

1,683,949

West Midlands

Birmingham MCD

6.84

-1,049

-715

-188

17,651

6,390,832

London

Lewisham LB

6.84

-250

-170

-45

4,205

1,522,340

South East

Milton Keynes UA

6.84

-231

-157

-41

3,884

1,406,256

London

Hounslow LB

6.83

-184

-126

-33

3,102

1,123,191

London

Ealing LB

6.82

-227

-155

-41

3,821

1,383,283

South East

Bracknell Forest UA

6.82

-106

-72

-19

1,788

647,225

Yorkshire and The Humber

Bradford MCD

6.82

-500

-341

-89

8,411

3,045,486

London

Enfield LB

6.80

-264

-180

-47

4,444

1,608,894

East Midlands

Nottingham UA

6.80

-273

-186

-49

4,597

1,664,351

 

3) Top 25 local authorities in England with greatest health savings and greatest reduction in cases of disease

This table is ordered in order of greatest healthcare cost savings over a 20 year period

 

Region

Area Name

Reduction in calories per day-mid

Estimated change in diabetes cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Stroke/CHD cases (over 20 years)

Estimated change in Cancer  cases (over 20 years)

Estimated QALYs gained (over 20 years)

Total health cost savings (over 20 years) (£) 

West Midlands

Birmingham MCD

6.84

-1,049

-715

-188

17,651

6,390,832

Yorkshire and The Humber

Leeds MCD

6.62

-801

-546

-143

13,475

4,878,838

North East

Durham UA

6.45

-570

-388

-102

9,582

3,469,422

South West

Cornwall UA

6.28

-511

-348

-91

8,593

3,111,309

Yorkshire and The Humber

Sheffield MCD

6.59

-506

-345

-90

8,507

3,080,144

Yorkshire and The Humber

Bradford MCD

6.82

-500

-341

-89

8,411

3,045,486

South West

Wiltshire UA

6.52

-443

-302

-79

7,453

2,698,464

Yorkshire and The Humber

Kirklees MCD

6.66

-425

-290

-76

7,150

2,588,923

North West

Liverpool MCD

6.65

-405

-276

-72

6,820

2,469,206

North West

Manchester MCD

6.89

-404

-275

-72

6,788

2,457,657

South West

Bristol UA

6.67

-389

-265

-70

6,548

2,370,682

Yorkshire and The Humber

Wakefield MCD

6.53

-362

-247

-65

6,088

2,204,109

Yorkshire and The Humber

East Riding of Yorkshire UA

6.30

-334

-228

-60

5,626

2,037,032

Yorkshire and The Humber

Doncaster MCD

6.55

-332

-226

-59

5,582

2,020,975

North East

Northumberland UA

6.35

-331

-225

-59

5,560

2,012,979

London

Croydon LB

6.80

-330

-225

-59

5,547

2,008,482

West Midlands

Dudley MCD

6.49

-330

-225

-59

5,546

2,008,088

West Midlands

Sandwell MCD

6.69

-325

-222

-58

5,468

1,979,593

North East

Sunderland MCD

6.51

-318

-217

-57

5,352

1,937,841

West Midlands

Coventry MCD

6.68

-314

-214

-56

5,287

1,914,309

North West

Wigan MCD

6.57

-311

-212

-56

5,238

1,896,646

North West

Cheshire East UA

6.41

-302

-206

-54

5,080

1,839,356

South East

Medway Towns UA

6.74

-301

-205

-54

5,070

1,835,642

Yorkshire and The Humber

Kingston upon Hull UA

6.69

-292

-199

-52

4,917

1,780,408

 

 

Published 12 Mar 2015

Sugary Drinks Duty: Support the campaign for a sugary drinks duty, to pay for programmes to improve childrens health and protect the environment they grow up in.

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