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Teens drink bathtubs of soft drinks: study

Press Association logoPress Association 22/11/2016 Jane Kirby

Teenagers drink the equivalent of almost a bath full of sugary drinks every year, a UK charity warns.

New figures from Cancer Research UK suggest those aged 11 to 18 each drink just over 234 cans of soft drink a year - or one bathtub full.

Those aged four to 10 drink over 110 cans of fizzy drink annually while toddlers aged between one and a half and three drink the equivalent of 1.34 cans of fizzy drink every week.

In March, the UK government announced it will introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks with added sugar.

Drinks with 5g of sugar per 100ml will face a lower rate of tax ,while those with more than 8g per 100ml will face a higher rate.

Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, while drinks with a high milk content will also be exempt due to their calcium content.

The Cancer Research UK data found that adults and young children currently consume twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar.

Those aged between 11 and 18 eat and drink three times the recommended limit, with sugary drinks being their main source of added sugar.

Alison Cox, director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, said she was shocked by the number of sugary drinks consumed by teens each year.

"We urgently need to stop this happening," Cox said.

"The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous, and it will give soft drinks companies a clear incentive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks."

Cox called on the government to close the loophole on junk food advertising on TV before the 9pm watershed.

"The UK has an epidemic on its hands, and needs to act now."

Cancer Research UK estimates that a 20p ($A0.85)-per-litre sugar tax could prevent 3.7 million cases of obesity over the next decade.

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