Lifestyle Economics

IEA welcomes WHO decision to exclude taxes on food & drink from recommendations



IEA responds to calls for increased taxation to fund the NHS

Press Release

IEA responds to World Health Organisation report on non-communicable diseases

Commenting on the World Health Organisation’s report ‘Time To Deliver’ on non-communicable diseases, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs says:

“The World Health Organisation’s decision to exclude taxes on food and drink from its list of formal recommendations is welcome. Sugar taxes have never reduced obesity anywhere. They only raise the cost of living and clobber people on low incomes.

“Today’s U-turn shows that members of the WHO’s own independent panel recognise the lack of evidence for such taxes. Although the WHO continues to support sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol, the exclusion of food and drink from this report is good news for the world’s poor.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: or 0207 799 8920 or 07791 390 268

Recently published IEA analysis showed that raising taxes on HFSS food (high in fat, sugar or salt), soft drinks, tobacco and alcohol would cost British households an extra £458 a year. Click here to read the full report.

For more on the sugar tax from the IEA, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Further IEA Reading: The Proof of the Pudding: Denmark’s fat tax fiasco