Researchers studying the impact of Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax are set to use it as evidence to back the introduction of the soft drinks levy.
Scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have been measuring the effect on sales of the 10p tax slapped on all sugar-added soft drinks in his restaurants since last June.
Oliver, who played an instrumental role in persuading former chancellor George Osborne to u-turn on the government’s opposition to a tax, said at the time he hoped his experiment would send a “powerful and strong message to government”.
The celebrity chef also urged other restaurants to follow his lead in slapping a tax on sugary drinks, which were filmed for Oliver’s hard-hitting documentary Sugar Rush, with several including Abakado and Leon following suit.
Money from Oliver’s campaign has been given to the charity Sustain, which advocates better food and farming policies and practices, to support children’s healthy food initiatives across Britain.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has previously produced research slamming the food and drink industry’s record in tackling obesity, with a series of reports attacking the weakness of the Responsibility Deal, of which Oliver has also been a major critic.
The drinks industry has repeatedly disputed evidence that sugar taxes have been successful where introduced in other countries such as Mexico.
A spokesman for the school said a report was currently being prepared to be published in a medical journal.