5-speed listening (Level 5)

Sugar could be harmful to our health






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The United States and United Kingdom are waging war on sugar in the interests of public health. They say that people eat too much sugar and this is harmful to people's well-being. On Thursday, the U.S. printed new dietary guidelines. These strongly recommend people get less than 10 per cent of their daily calories from added sugar. On the same day, Britain's Prime Minister said he did not rule out the idea of a tax on sugar so people would buy food with less sugar in it. Politicians in the U.K. are discussing how less sugar in food could help reduce Britain's rising rates of obesity.

The governments both cite a study carried out in Mexico that showed how a tax on carbonated drinks reduced consumption. The tax meant sales of sugary drinks went down by 12 per cent in 2014. Sales of mineral water went up by four per cent in the same year. An alternative to taxing sugared drinks is to reduce the level of sugar in them. Researchers at a London university said that cutting the sugar content in drinks by 40 per cent over five years could prevent one million cases of obesity in the U.K. Researchers say people might not even notice this.

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