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U.K. to Use Sugar Tax to Fight Child Obesity, Boost School Sport

The U.K. government plans to use the sugar tax it will levy on soft-drinks companies to fund school sports and healthy-breakfast clubs as it plans further measures to cut sugar levels in children’s favorite foods.

Under the so-called childhood-obesity plan, food and drink companies will work with the government to reduce sugar levels by a fifth in those foods most eaten by children, according to a consultation document published by the Treasury in London on Thursday.

The 45-page document asks for views on who should be liable to pay the levy and on technical issues such as definitions of added sugars and the treatment of fruit juices and products such as slushy drinks. The consultation period runs until Oct. 13.

The government will also use the tax on soft drinks to double payments to schools to fund physical education and sport and invest a further 10 million pounds ($13 million) a year in school breakfast clubs. It will also encourage elementary schools to ensure children get an hour’s exercise every day.