It's been almost a month since George Osborne announced a soft drinks levy in the Budget. While the measure remains popular with the public, some have challenged the principle or approach to taxing sugary drinks. But do the criticisms stack up? Here I set straight seven of the common myths and criticisms...
Shockingly three quarters of adults admitted they cannot work out how much sugar they should be eating from reading packets because their maths skills are too poor. A report from Unicef last week gave further credence to this, finding Britain 25th out of 37 wealthy nations for its equality levels in children's maths and science skills, as well as reading.
Excessive alcohol consumption and obesity are two of the most important public health challenges facing our NHS today. There can be no doubt that obesity and alcohol misuse can cause misery to individuals and their families, and their combined costs to the NHS are an eye-watering £22billion each year.
As a dietitian, the challenge is to educate people on healthier food choices, activity and lifestyle changes. Doing this in clinic on a one to one basis is excellent and, provided you have enough time, you can really drill down and identify the changes that need to be made.
The levy (dubbed a 'sugar tax') will be introduced in April 2018, and will hope to generate close to £1.5 billion in the period 2018-21. The government intends to invest the tax revenue for increased physical education, extracurricular activities and breakfast clubs at schools.
We're constantly told to watch what we eat, keep as active as we can, have a healthy lifestyle and manage our weight. But why are these messages so important and what are we all striving to achieve?
With the release of last week's budget, it seems everyone is talking about the sugar tax. Over the last few days I've read several opinions on whether...
Too much sugar has been linked to obesity in both adults and children. With Britain about to bring in a new sugar tax, it will be interesting to see how this will affect the sales of fizzy drinks and the overall health of the country as a whole.
I don't think I quite comprehended the question when the BBC rang me for a comment. In a week where it felt like a tiny step had been made for mankind (the potential for brands to be financially punished for not cutting sugar out of their fizzy pop) I was genuinely being asked if I thought we should ban elasticated trousers as they might encourage obesity.
We know that there is a link - rarely discussed - between mental health and obesity - but asking if people are 'down in the dumps' not only suggests that the government is once again down-playing mental health needs but also implies that being a certain size will fix all your problems.
On the 28 November 2015, I underwent weight loss surgery, also known as sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric sleeve. I wrote about why I needed this operation in my previous blogs, "My Gastric Sleeve and Me" and My Gastric Sleeve and PCOS.
By eating more sugar than our bodies actually need, we are storing the excess as fat, leading to an increase in obesity and many other health problems throughout the world. Keeping track of how much sugar we eat can be difficult, though, as it goes by many different names and is hidden in some unlikely foods.
The research on sweeteners isn't as comprehensive as I'd like yet. Only Aspartame, Saccharin and Sucralose have really been studied properly, and most clinical studies only include these sweeteners. Are they all equal to, or as bad as each other? I'll break it down for you:
As with humans, obesity in animals carries with it a whole host of health problems. From cancer and heart disease to degenerated joints, overweight pets are more likely to suffer from a number of related medical conditions. It is important that owners watch out for pet obesity and learn how to treat it.
Europe is facing an obesity crisis of epidemic proportions, one that threatens to overwhelm the EU's already struggling economies and place a tremendous burden on its healthcare systems. Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that the proportion of those who are overweight or obese will rise substantially in the EU over the next decade if the issue is not tackled.
It's everywhere. In foods you'd never imagine - take a look at the labels on things like pickles, sauces, yoghurts and cereals. And remember, it can be hidden under a whole range of different names so you might not notice it right away.