Sweet solution: Germany contemplates sugar tax

Sweet solution: Germany contemplates sugar tax.

Sweet solution: Germany contemplates sugar tax. Image: Andrii Spy_k / Shutterstock.com.

Germany is considering implementing a sugar tax on soft drinks, inspired by the UK’s successful initiative.

This proposal, originally put forth by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has gained support from nine states: Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Thuringia, Saarland, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

However, it has also sparked conflict between different levels of government.

The UK experience, where a sugar tax was linked to preventing thousands of childhood obesity cases within five years according to studies from the University of Cambridge, serves as a model for Germany.

Health Concerns

Public health concerns like obesity and diabetes are driving the proposal.

Previous voluntary agreements with beverage manufacturers to reduce sugar content have had limited success, leading to this shift toward a direct tax approach.

Economic studies, such as those from the Technical University of Munich, suggest significant benefits from a sugary drinks tax in Germany, estimating potential savings of up to €16 billion over 20 years.

Re-investing Revenue

Advocates, including Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, argue that any additional revenue generated should be reinvested in promoting healthier diets, potentially through subsidies like reduced VAT on fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.