想变胖先交税:英国政府立法帮国民减肥 | 双语阅读

FT每日英语 2018-06-14



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The "ground-breaking" sugar tax on soft drinks has come into force in the UK from April 6, a move that will lead to some higher prices as the country seeks to battle childhood obesity.



“Our teenagers consume nearly a bathtub of sugary drinks each year on average, fuelling a worrying obesity trend in this country,” Public Health Minister Steve Brine said.“The soft drinks industry levy is ground-breaking policy that will help to reduce sugar intake, whilst funding sports programs and nutritious breakfast clubs for children.”


① ground-breaking ['graʊndˌbreɪkɪŋ] adj. 全新的;开拓性的

例句: Half an hour of exercise a day can add an extra five years on your life, a ground breaking research has revealed.


② levy ['levi] n./v. 征收;征(税)

例句: As it stands, up to 20 cities and states are considering imposing such a levy on soda.


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The levy is being applied to manufacturers - whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them. Drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml will face a tax rate equivalent to 24p per litre. Those containing 5-8g per 100ml will face a slightly lower rate of tax, of 18p per litre.



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.


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The graduated levy has prompted some of the country’s largest soda-makers to slash the sugar in their beverages.



Coca-Cola has changed the recipe for Fanta. San Pellegrino sodas in the United Kingdom now have 40 percent less sugar. The reduction has been so dramatic that the British Treasury has cut its revenue forecast for the levy almost in half to reflect the shrinking number of soft drinks with a taxable amount of sweetener.


③ graduated ['ɡrædʒu.eɪtɪd] adj. 分等级的;分层次的

例句: The U.S. military wants to avoid the graduated escalation that marked the Vietnam War.


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Because of the reformulations, the Treasury now expects the levy to raise only about 240 million pounds ($336 million) in its first year, less than half of its prior forecast of 520 million. In England that income is being invested in schools sports and breakfast clubs.



Products such as cakes, biscuits and other foods are not covered by the tax, although a separate initiative is encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of those items voluntarily.


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Screenshot: Twitter


Politicians and public health experts have cheered the news, which they say will reduce obesity and diabetes. “Our Sugar Tax is even more effective than hoped,” tweeted George Osborne, the former finance minister, noting the latest product changes. “That means less sugar and better health.”


obesity [əʊ'biːsəti] n. 肥大,肥胖

例句: The British government has decided to wipe out the obesity epidemic through a novel strategy - by offering fat people cash incentives.


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As Osborne and others have noted, the design of the British sugar tax is unique. Other countries, such as Mexico and South Africa, and U.S. cities, including Philadelphia and Berkeley, created their taxes with the goal of decreasing consumption of sugary drinks. But the British tax was designed to encourage soda-makers to cut the sugar in their products. It incentivizes these “reformulations,” as they are known in the industry, by charging two separate rates based on total sugar content.




In 2011, the Danish government tested out a policy never before seen in the world. It implemented an across-the-board tax on all foods with a saturated fat content above 2.3 percent, with the hopes of reducing consumption of unhealthy foods.


across-the-board [ə'krɔsðə'bɔ:d] adj. 全面的;定时播送的

例句: As one of the basic relations of social operation, labor relation has also been affected across-the-board.


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After being voted for by an overwhelming majority of MPs, the tax on saturated fat led to inflation, cross-border shopping, job losses and huge administrative costs. It had very little effect on the consumption of saturated fat because Danish shoppers downgraded to cheaper brands from budget supermarkets, often in cheaper countries. It did, however, clobber the poor — as indirect taxes usually do. 


Since it had a negligible impact on consumption, it is unlikely to have had any impact on health. Once it became clear that the fat tax was creating lots of costs and no benefits, an overwhelming majority of MPs voted to repeal it. In January 2013, 15 months after it was introduced, it was abolished.



In 2008, Japan’s Ministry of Health passed the ‘metabo’ law and declared war against obesity. The law mandates that local governments and employers add a waist measurement test to the annual mandatory check up of 40-75 year olds. For men and women who fail the test and exceed the maximum allowed waist length of 33.5 and 35.4 inches, they are required to attend a combination of counseling sessions, monitoring through phone and email correspondence, and motivational support.


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Non-compliance has no individual consequence. The responsibility of adherence to the program falls to employers or local government. These providers are required to ensure a minimum of 65% participation, with an overall goal to cut the country’s obesity rates by 25% by year 2015. Failure to meet these goals results in fines of almost 10% of current health payments.


adherence [əd'hɪərəns] n. 坚持;遵守

例句: The Chinese side appreciates Armenia for its adherence to the one-China policy and its firm support on the question of Taiwan.



Dubai Municipality has launched a community initiative under the slogan 'Your Weight in Gold' aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle and encouraging the society members to achieve optimal body weight and maintain it.



For each kilogram lost, participants will receive a gram of gold, which is currently worth about $45 (£30). Those taking part - dubbed "golden losers" - need to lose at least two kilos to receive the payout. The three participants who lose the most weight will be entered into a draw to win a gold coin worth $5,400.


payout ['peɪaʊt] n. 支出;花费

例句: Employees of investment banks around the globe typically receive a portion of their payout in the form of shares.


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The Your Weight in Gold scheme is being sponsored by the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) . Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCC said: "We would highly encourage everyone from all walks of life to take part in this great initiative and hope DMCC’s contribution of AED 100,000 worth of gold coins will help motivate individuals reach the final target of improving and sustaining a healthy lifestyle and consequently a better quality of life."



生酮饮食适合谁?你的健身餐吃对了吗?| 双语阅读