The UK Health Forum has backed the decision to add a 20p levy to the cost of all drinks with added sugar sold at cafes and vending machines at Sheffield International Venues’ 11 facilities.
The leisure centres, including Ponds Forge, iceSheffield and Beauchief Golf Course, were the first in the UK to introduce a charge on unhealthy sugary drinks, which came into force last month.
Money raised will be go towards obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention programmes for young people, with SIV - part of the Sheffield City Trust - pledging a minimum of £25,000 to the initiative.
Dr Modi Mwatsama, director of policy and global health at the UK Health Forum said: “All age groups in the UK are consuming too much sugar and sugary drinks are the biggest source of sugar in our diets, especially among children and young people.
“Taxes on sugary drinks have been identified as one of the most effective and cost-effective interventions to reduce consumption of sugar and tackle associated conditions such as obesity.
“The UK Health Forum therefore welcomes this decision by the Sheffield City Trust.”
Rob Womack, healthy partnerships manager for SIV, said: “We are excited to have led the way in making this bold move and hope others will follow in our footsteps. We are now starting to identify ways in which we can use the money raised through the charge and will be hoping to introduce the first obesity and diabetes prevention programmes early next year.”