From September 17th, we will be introducing a 10p levy on all our drinks that contain added sugar. The global health problems caused by sugar consumption are staggering. Sugar is leading to alarming rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in both adults and children, and it’s showing no signs of stopping.

Jamie Oliver and Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, have launched a petition calling on the government to introduce a tax on all sugary drinks. We’re joining them in their quest to tackle the crisis head on, and show the government how to stop sugar ruining lives.

Helping people to eat less sugar has long been a goal at Leon, which was set up in 2004 by John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby to make it easy for everyone to eat well. The pair have since authored the School Food Plan, helping to put cooking on the curriculum and implementing free school meals for infant students.

We know that adding the 10p ‘sugar tax’ to drinks at Leon will not only help people to make healthy choices, it will also help to improve the damage that has already been done. We estimate that we will raise £50,000 over the next year with the added charge. All money will be donated to The Children’s Health Fund, set up by Jamie and Sustain to improve the health and food education of children in the UK.

Speaking alongside Jamie at the screening of his new documentary Sugar Rush, John called for a rethinking of traditions. “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. What’s cool is that this will start a debate about the best way to protect children from the damage that grownups are doing to them.”

As a Metro columnist, John wrote about the ubiquity of sugar and the devastating impact that it’s having on us. “The responses I got made it clear to me that we need to take the sugar crisis into our own hands. I’m excited for the change that Leon and Jamie can bring about, and I hope we are the first of many restaurants to join him.”

Help us show them how it’s done. Sign the petition for a sugary drinks tax here.