VAT increase could prevent tooth decay

VAT increase could prevent tooth decay

04 Feb 2011

The recent rise in VAT to 20 per cent is forcing some confectionery manufacturers and retailers to look again at the price and size of their chocolate bars. The result may be a welcome and unexpected reduction in sugar intake – helping to improve dental health and lower rates of obesity.
Recent reports suggest that some confectionery manufacturers in the UK are shrinking the size of their products to help them manage their pricing policies and profitability.

After many years of increasing bar sizes, the result of these changes may have unexpected benefits to the amount of sugar being consumed. With sugar-filled sweets and confectionery being among the most common causes of tooth decay in the country, it is no wonder that confectionery manufacturers and dentists have often found themselves at opposite sides of an increasingly fierce debate.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Carter, said that cutting the size of confectionery bars was a step in the right direction, and is an encouraging move for better health in the UK.

Dr Carter said, “Although it seems clear that manufacturers are making these steps to retain their profit margins, the move will have a knock on effect and could mean lower rates of decay as well as a reduction in obesity. Ultimately, reducing the total amount of sugar in a packet of sweets or a bar of chocolate will have a positive effect on people’s diet in relation to both their oral and overall health.”