Introducing a Sugar Tax, Morally Justifiable? A Debate on the Introduction of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy

  • Cliffe C
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Abstract

Obesity is increasing throughout the world's population and has been associated with a number of diseases, from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke to cancer and respiratory diseases [1, 2]. In the United Kingdom, an astonishing 62% of the population was classified as obese or overweight in 2015 [3]. Complications of obesity have resulted in high rates of morbidity and mortality. The announcement last year that the UK government is to impose a tax on sugar is an attempt to tackle this problem; therefore, it is a timely moment to discuss the justifications and ramifications of this, from a moral point of view. This essay will analyse whether obesity can be considered a public health matter and discuss the ethical challenges and criticisms that paternalistic interventions, designed to combat this epidemic may encounter, focusing on the sugar tax.

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Cliffe, C. (2017). Introducing a Sugar Tax, Morally Justifiable? A Debate on the Introduction of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Universal Journal of Public Health, 5(5), 242–247. https://doi.org/10.13189/ujph.2017.050506

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