The soft drinks with the highest sugar content in the UK will be taxed at the maximum rate of 24p per litre as part of the 2018 sugar tax.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the levy in his speech for the 2017 Spring Budget.
Two bands of tax – depending on whether drinks contain more than 5g or 8g of added sugar per 100ml – had originally been proposed by the government, but rates had yet to be confirmed.
Mr Hammond has now formally established that it would either be 18p a litre for drinks with 5 grams of sugar per 100ml, or 24p a litre for those containing more than 8g per 100ml.
In addition to that, the scope of the tax has been broadened to include small producers and importers, which had previously been exempted.
During the new budget announcement, Mr Hammond added that the tax will bring in less than the projected £520 million revenue stream.
This is because many soft drink manufacturers, who were highly critical of the tax at first, finally caved in and are now reformulating sugar out of their drinks to minimise their exposure to the levy.
Last week, AG Barr, the Scotland-based producer of Irn-Bru and Rubicon drinks, said it would reduce sugar in 90 per cent of its beverages to less than 5g per 100ml.
This means that the sugar levy is already working, to some extent, to spur reformulation of sugary drinks by manufacturers.
This is encouraging news in the fight against childhood obesity. Our children are the ones who receive the highest proportion of their added sugar intake from such drinks.
If, like experts believe, the tax serves as a tool to make an unhealthy choice less attractive, it may provoke a significant reduction of sugary drinks sales.
Decreases in added sugar consumption could result in small but important declines in the prevalence of obesity when extrapolated over a number of years.
Other health benefits expected to follow include lowering excessive calorie intake, and cutting rates of tooth decay and type 2 diabetes.

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