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Sugar tax will be a sweet move

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WHEN I was a kid, we never drank anything other than water or ‘icing cold milk’, as my brother called it. (We lived on a farm and the milk arrived in actual milk churns – then it sat in the fridge in bottles, the cream slowly drifting to the top.)

On very rare occasions we went to the drive-in, more than an hour’s drive away, over a mountain pass, and there we got to eat hamburgers and drink a little glass bottle of Coca-Cola. (That was about half the size of the standard soda can today.)

Not long ago, I was with some thirsty schoolchildren; it seemed the only possible solution to their thirst came in a large purple-labelled bottle, fizzy and sickly sweet. (Hardly surprising, given that one study showed that half the ads for this kind of beverage in Soweto are to be found outside schools.) Sugar-sweetened beverages instead of water: a recipe for disaster.

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