A report submitted to France's Ministries of Finance and Health has recommended increased taxes on sugared drinks, alcohol and "unhealthy" foods as part of a programme to combat obesity.

The report, undertaken by two state agencies, the Inspection générale des finances (Igs) and l'Inspection générale des affaires sociales (Igas), proposes a rise in VAT from 5.5% to 19.6% on foods deemed "too fatty, too sweet, too salty and which are not strictly necessary."

However, France's budget minister, Eric Woerth, emphasised his opposition to what would amount to a nutritional tax. 

"It's out of the question to increase VAT on food products especially at a time when French consumers are experiencing difficulties with their purchasing power," Worth underlined at a press briefing.  

"This is not a government report but one drawn up by experts," he said, insisting it was not a policy document.

However, the report will be debated in the national assembly.