Honey a tax


Health campaigners, ‘Action on Sugar’ want to banish honey from the breakfast table because it can be ‘very detrimental to health.’

Their logic is simple. Honey contains free sugars; free sugars (they claim) are bad; therefore honey should be put ‘out of sight’. If consumption doesn’t fall they will campaign for a honey tax.

To be fair their main objective is to reduce sugar consumption, especially in processed foods, but honey is nevertheless on their hit list.

Of concern is the increasing prevalence of obesity in the UK; Brits are getting fatter and the incidence of Type 2 diabetes is expanding as fast as those waist lines. Action on Sugar think it’s all down to one thing: Sugar.

Such a naive approach is typical of campaign group trying to push a simple message, but the causes of obesity are more complex. Fundamentally though the 1st Law of thermodynamics applies; if more calories go in than come out, you gain weight! And whether Action on Sugar like it or not, simply substituting a tablespoon of honey (64 calories) on your morning toast for sugar-free peanut butter (94 calories) won’t make you any slimmer.

Beekeepers need to take heed because honey risks being caught up in the anti-sugar war being waged by the saccharo-phobes.

And Action on Sugar needs to moderate it’s honey attacks and understand that less honey being consumed means there will be fewer bees, so fewer pollinators for those fruits and vegetables they would have us all eating.

Not that cane sugar production would be affected – it’s wind pollinated!


  1. http://www.actiononsugar.org/eat-less-sugar/how-to-eat-less-sugar/how-to-cut-down-on-sugar-in-your-diet/
  2. http://www.actiononsugar.org/sugar-and-health/
  3. http://www.actiononsugar.org/about-us/aims/