5-speed listening (Snack Tax - Level 3)

U.K. considers tax on sugary and salty snacks



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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The UK is considering several measures to help people eat more healthily. The government asked a food expert to come up with some ideas. The expert is Henry Dimbleby, the founder of a chain of restaurants. Mr Dimbleby created the National Food Strategy and presented it to the UK government earlier this week. The strategy included two main ideas. One is a tax on food containing salt and sugar, which the media have called a "snack tax". The second idea is to give vegetables to poorer people for free. Mr Dimbleby warned that what we eat, and how it is produced, is doing "terrible damage" to the environment and to our health. Poor diet leads to 64,000 deaths a year in England and puts great pressure on hospitals.

Despite the government asking for the strategy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not happy with it. He said he could not support it because he was "not attracted to the idea of extra taxes on hard-working people". Mr Johnson said the strategy could increase the price of snack food by up to 13 per cent. He added that the best way to tackle obesity and to encourage healthier lifestyles was for people to exercise and eat less junk food. Mr Dimbleby said: "With the right leadership from government, it is well within our power to change the system so it makes both us and the planet healthier." He added: "We must now seize the moment to build a better food system for our children and grandchildren."

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