At least don’t buy lemonade, cola, pop or soft drinks

In Scotland, doctors have called for a tax on sugary drinks to tackle a spiralling obesity crisis.

Mexico, Finland and Latvia, have applied a levy to great effect in their countries delegates to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) conference in Edinburgh.

Such tax revenue could be used to invest in public health initiatives, experts will tell the conference entitled Obesity – a 21st-century ­epidemic?

Campaigners have called on the SNP to declare its support. Previously ministers have been hesitant due to fears over local job losses.

Professor Simon Capewell, chair of Clinical Epidemiology, Public Health and Policy at Liverpool University, addressed the conference on how the implementation of a 10 per cent tax in Mexico saw a corresponding 10 per cent reduction in ­consumption. He said: “It is now time to move forward on introducing a tax on sugary drinks in the UK as a central component of preventing the continuing escalation of obesity and spiralling healthcare costs.

“Scotland has an excellent track record in addressing public health issues including smoke free public places and proposals for minimum unit pricing for alcohol. We need to explore how these developments could be repeated with sugary drinks.”

RCPE President, Professor Derek Bell said there is no simple solution to the causes and treatment of obesity, but food and drink taxes are an important part of the discussion.

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