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Monday 26 October 2015

A taxing problem

A recent report by Public Health England (PHE) recommends people should get less than 5% of their energy from sugar. It suggests that a tax on sugar sweetened beverages will help reduce the growing obesity crisis and ease pressure on the NHS. A similar tax in Mexico resulted in a 6%  decrease in the sales of sugary drinks.

Dr Ali Hill, Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University, says:

“There is no one solution to this problem, but we can make better use of the resources we have. There is a lot of misinformation to do with nutrition. As part of the evidence published in the sugar report there are nutrition competencies for those working in fitness. These were developed by the Association for Nutrition, together with partners including Southampton Solent University.

“By having nutrition competencies for fitness professionals we can make sure that the information given to the public is right. At Solent University we take a lot of care to make sure the nutrition information given out by gym instructors and personal trainers that we teach is correct and evidence-based. But not all training providers can go into the depth we can in a three-year course. Fitness professionals are a fantastic resource for giving out healthy eating advice, which is invaluable in the current obesity crisis.”


Dr Ali Hill is a Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University. Her areas of academic expertise are nutrition, healthy eating, diet and physical activity. She also specialises in nutrition for athletes and events (eg first marathon/triathlon); foetal programming (effect of diet in pregnancy on the offspring in later life); obesity; fats; and diet and the immune system.

Dr Ali Hill can be contacted at

 A full copy of the report by Public Health England can be found