Sugar levy on sugar sweetened beverages announced in today's budget speech

Sugar levy on sugar sweetened beverages announced in today's budget speech

16 March 2016

The British Dietetic Association welcomes the sugar levy on sugar sweetened beverages, as announced in today’s budget speech.

The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members. 

The new levy will come into force in 2018 with two bands – one band for drinks with a total sugar content above 5g and below 8g per 100ml and a second higher rate band for those 8g per 100ml or above. Pure fruit juices and milk-based drinks are excluded from this levy.

Whilst this is a positive step towards tackling the issue of excess sugar consumption, we are clear that such a move should be part of a wide range of public policies to reduce the frequency and amount of sugary drinks consumed by children and adolescents. We also believe there are a range of measures that will be essential to reduce the wider issue of obesity.  

The Chancellor has announced that the income generated from the new levy will go towards school sports programmes. Whilst this is welcome, we also believe education programmes would be beneficial in reducing the intake of sugar sweetened beverages, and therefore we would encourage the use of the levy funding to assist with such programmes.

We look forward to working with the government and other health colleagues on this and other policies relating to the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and the wider issue of obesity in the coming months.


For more information / interview   requests, please contact the BDA Press Office on:

0800 048 1714



  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.


  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.
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