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Tax sugar to cut nation's waistline

Published 28/04/2015

Food writer Sheila Dillon said hitting people's wallets might help them resist chocolate and sweets
Food writer Sheila Dillon said hitting people's wallets might help them resist chocolate and sweets

Broadcaster Sheila Dillon has suggested a tax on sugar could be what is needed to get the nation healthier.

The food writer acknowledged it is hard to avoid the temptation to buy chocolate at the checkout, but suggested hitting people's wallets might be a more effective way of helping them resist.

Dillon, who presents BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, said: "Teenagers are constantly confronted by chocolate, crisps and sweets.

"You buy clothes and are offered sweets at the checkout. It's a gigantic issue."

She told the Radio Times magazine that in order to help this: "I would tax sugar.

"Sugar has no nutritional significance at all," she added.

"We know what a disaster fizzy drinks are.

"Look at what happened to Mexico after fizzy drinks were suddenly brought onto the mass market.

"Look at the death rates linked to diabetes."

Dillon also claimed she deserves credit for TV chef Gregg Wallace's career, as she recommended him for his first media role, on long-running phone-in programme Veg Talk.

"Yes, I am responsible for Gregg Wallace," she said.

"It ran on Radio 4 until the controller found it vulgar. And ended it.

"And Gregg very cleverly moved on and has made a fortune and now amuses the nation at large."

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