Healthy fast food group Leon is to introduce a 10p levy on all its drinks that contain added sugar.
The restaurant group estimates that it will raise £50,000 over the next year from the levy, which has also been introduced to highlight how damaging excess sugar can be in people's diets, especially those of children.
It will donate the money generated to the Children's Health Fund charity set up by television chef Jamie Oliver and farming and food alliance Sustain, which has also called on the government to introduce a general tax on sugary drinks.
Leon, which has 25 sites across London and the wider UK, was created in 2004 by John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby (pictured), who have since also launched the School Food Plan, which sets out criteria for school food and seeks to promote healthy practices across children's in-school diets.
Speaking alongside Oliver at the screening of his new documentary Sugar Rush, Vincent said a rethink on sugar was needed. He said: "Soft drinks brands spend a lot of money convincing us that their drinks are cool. What's actually cool is that this levy can help redress the damage done by the average 21 teaspoons of sugar a child consumes a day. This will start a debate about the best way to protect children from the damage that grown-ups are doing to them."
In his column for The Metro Vincent added: "We need to take the sugar crisis into our own hands. I'm excited for the change that Leon and Jamie [Oliver] can bring about, and I hope we are the first of many restaurants to join him."
Leon has been on an expansion drive in recent months, with new sites expected soon at London's Watling Street and in Birmingham
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