World Health Organisation backs down from calling for sugary drinks tax

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is backing away from its own call to tax sugary drinks, in a new report that some experts slammed as being "conspicuously limp".

In 2016, the UN health agency urged countries to tax sugar-laden drinks like sodas and sport drinks as a way to fight obesity and diabetes.

Back then, it said a 20% price increase in such drinks would dramatically cut consumption.

However, in a report published today, WHO experts pointedly dropped any recommendation to tax sugary beverages.

The organisation said that regarding sugar taxation, "some views were conflicting and could not be resolved".

Jack Winkler, an emeritus professor of nutrition policy at London Metropolitan University, said that amid the rising obesity epidemic, the WHO's failure to recommend sugar taxation was "particularly absurd".

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