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After the UK, Canada? Sugar tax introduced in United Kingdom

Last Updated Mar 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm EDT

Bottles of soft drinks sit on display at a Woolworths Ltd. supermarket in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 27, 2015. GETTY IMAGES/BLOOMBERG/Brendon Thorne.

Following in the footsteps of Mexico and Berkeley, California, the United Kingdom is moving to tax sugary soft drinks, and Canada could be next.

On Wednesday, UK Chancellor George Osborne said he expected to raise £530 million ($997 million Canadian) by taxing the sugar content of soft drinks.

The BBC reported that the money raised will be spent on school sports. The move was praised by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, whose efforts against childhood obesity have brought him around the world (and to Toronto).

Oliver told BBC News the tax was “a big moment in child health” and a “symbolic slap” to business rather than “anti-business”.

Mexico began taxing soft drinks in 2013, the New York Times reports. Berkeley passed a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks in 2014.

In New York City, efforts to limit portion sizes have failed. In Canada, a Senate committee tasked with looking at the food guide suggested a possible tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Fruit juice was the main target of the Senate report, released earlier this month.

“Fruit juice, for instance, is presented as a health item, when it is little more than a soft drink without the bubbles,” the committee wrote.

The same report also suggested the government should consider a ban on advertising food and drinks to children and a sugar tax.

With files from The Canadian Press