Proposals for a sugar tax in hospitals appear muddled, writes Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality.
Whilst we are free to ignore products high in salt, sugar or unhealthy fats, problems can occur when there isn’t an alternative. When the vending machine offers just sugary drinks, or the ready-to-eat food in the high street is limited to fried chicken or fatty burgers, then it becomes harder to view obesity as a solely self-inflicted condition.
Most people believe that the public sector have a greater responsibility to set an example. Opinion polls supported the 2014 ban on the sale of sugary drinks and snacks in state-run schools. Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, has pledged to introduce a sugar tax across hospitals. The expected proceeds of £20m-£40m a year would be used “to improve the health of the NHS’s own 1.3m workers.”
But the proposal seems to pull in opposite directions by seeking to reduce sugar consumption (as part of the fight against obesity) and also raise revenue.
Read what Peter Ducker, the Institute of Hospitality’s Chief Executive, has to say about these conflicting statements along with potential resolutions to this issue.