You might have heard about the sugar tax which was recently introduced by the government. But do you really know what it means? It’s going to mean big changes in the world of fizzy pop. It won’t just affect flavour and price changes, it’s also going to mean a healthier approach! Let’s take a look at the ins and outs.

Fizzy Drinks

What is it?

The sugar tax which has been in parliamentary debate since 2016, officially came into force in March 2018. It means that drinks manufacturers must now pay a tax on their products. The amount is decided according to the levels of sugar content in their fizzy and energy drinks.

Many of the bigger drinks companies are likely to change the levels of sugar in their drinks to reduce the tax they now have to pay and/or result in an increase on prices paid by us, the consumer. Coca-Cola issues a statement on their website to say that unlike many of their competitors, they won’t be changing their recipe. We wouldn’t be surprised though, to see that in the coming months, their prices change to make up for the tax costs.

The tax doesn’t apply to drinks with natural sugars in them – this includes fruit juices and naturally flavoured waters.

Why is the sugar tax great news?

The average sugar intake in the UK (across all age groups) is higher than the recommended amount; 30g per day for adults, 26g for 7-10-year-olds and 19g for 4-6-year-olds. When you consider that just one can of regular Coke contains 35g of sugar, it’s no surprise that we’re failing to hit recommended amounts!

Too much sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. These are just two of the reasons behind the government’s decision to implement a tax on sugary drinks.

The money raised by this new levy is going to be used to help reduce childhood obesity, a growing problem in this country. Estimated at £250 million a year, it will go into school breakfast clubs and towards sports initiatives. Getting kids moving and starting the day well is great news!  

As we’ve mentioned already, many of the big drinks manufacturers are already working to reduce the sugar in their recipes. Some of the big supermarkets have done this too, reducing the levels of sugar in their own brand products. So, if you do love fizzy drinks, at least you know there will be less sugar in them from now one.

Avoid sugary drinks at home:

Here at Energy Ball Recipes HQ, we try to avoid drinking too many sugary drinks. And so, if you’re concerned about the changes, why not join us? We recommend making your own flavoured water, with all natural ingredients. It’s really easy and will give you a fruity hit without all that sugar.

Simply fill a jug or large water bottle with still or sparkling water (your preference) and add slices of fresh orange, lemon and lime or handfuls of fresh mint. Alternatively, slice a cucumber with a vegetable peeler. Whichever ingredients you choose, add them to the water and stir well with a spoon. Then, simply leave for an hour to infuse before drinking!

Home made flavoured water

To find out more about the negative impact sugary drinks can have on your body, take a look at GULP, a campaign from Food Active which aims to raise awareness of the health harms associated with the over-consumption of sugary drinks.