Industry leaders have renewed calls for the government to abandon plans for a sugar tax, after official figures showed steep falls fall in children’s consumption of sugar from fizzy drinks, according to MCA’s sister title The Grocer.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) figures released last week showed that there was a 23% fall in consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks among kids aged four to 10. Consumption among teenagers was down 8%.

The British Soft Drinks Association told The Grocer that the results of the survey, looking at the period 2012-14, showed how misguided the plans were for a soft drinks levy, especially as there were likely to have been even bigger falls in consumption since the results were collected, because of further reformulation and change in consumption habits because of the war on sugar.

“It seems odd to punish progress with a tax which risks job losses and higher prices for consumers when our efforts are clearly having an impact,” said BSDA director general Gavin Partington. “Surely a review of this policy must now be undertaken.”

Last month a report from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the BSDA, claimed the levy would lead to more than 4,000 job losses across the UK and a decline of £132m in the UK economy.