Ravi Gurumurthy, Chief Executive of Nesta, said:
Our research with the Behavioural Insights Team shows that 54% of the public support putting taxes on unhealthy food. While more work is needed to build public consent, there is enough support for government to act now and introduce a tax on sugar.
Obesity is where carbon and climate change was twenty years ago. Over that time, we’ve forced companies to pay carbon taxes, disclose their carbon footprint, and be accountable to investors for their environmental performance. In the next decade, unless we see the same degree of radicalism in how we deal with food, we’ll see millions of people suffer from avoidable disease and premature death, particularly those on low incomes.
COVID has taught us that public health can no longer be the poor relation of the NHS. The only way to have a world-class NHS is if we take the strain off it by reducing avoidable disease. We have learned this the hard way over the last 18 months. Continued inaction over tackling the causes of ill health will result in the silent suffering and death of millions.