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The UK government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), introduced to help tackle childhood obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, has resulted in UK soft drinks manufacturers lowering the sugar levels in their drinks. 

The SDIL was introduced on 6 April 2018, and applies to drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, but not to fruit juice, milk-based drinks, alcoholic drinks, or drinks from companies with sales of less than 1m litres per year. 

The first direct evaluation of the effects of the SDIL on drink formulation has found that the changes brought about by the SDIL have been far greater than those achieved by voluntary industry initiatives. Results showed that by February 2019, just 15% of eligible drinks were liable for the levy, compared to 52% of eligible drinks liable when the levy was announced. 

Read more (Nuffield Department of Population Health website)