“It will be no surprise to most people that soft drinks contain a lot of sugar – but it’s the sheer amount of sugar that will come as a shock to many.   Drinking just one can of ginger beer or cola for example, would immediately take you over the daily recommended limit for sugar — significantly over if you’re a child.

“This type of ‘free sugar’ is nothing but empty calories and is seriously endangering people’s health. Type 2 diabetes, poor dental health and obesity are all on the rise and are becoming more prevalent amongst children and young people. It is no coincidence that sugary drinks are the main source of sugar intake for this age group.

“The case for the soft drinks industry levy, coupled with the reformulation of soft drinks to reduce their sugar content, has never been clearer.   It is vital that this is implemented without dilution and the progress of voluntary reformulation monitored closely.   It’s encouraging to see certain industry leaders already taking action to reduce the amount of sugar in their products and others pledging to do the same. The nation’s diet needs to be unsweetened — and fast.”