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Prof Donal O’Shea, HSE Clinical Lead Obesity Management, said today that similar taxes in other countries have reduced consumption and sales of sugar sweetened drinks.
“Positively, even before Ireland’s sugar tax has been fully introduced, it seems to be having an effect with producers reformulating their products, providing consumers with options that have less added sugar, or offering products in smaller portion sizes,” said Prof O’Shea.
The new tax was also welcomed today by Ms Sarah O’Brien, National Lead for the HSE’s Healthy Eating Active Living Programme who said it marked a “definite step in the right direction in our efforts as a country to tackle obesity”.
“With at least six out of 10 adults and at least one in five children now overweight or obese in Ireland, the associated health risks are placing a heavy burden on ourselves and on our health services.
“We need to use all the tools we have at our disposal to create an environment that supports us all to eat healthily, be more active and achieve and maintain a healthier weight”.
The RCPI Policy Group on Obesity also welcomed the news.
Member of the Group Professor Francis Finucane, Consultant Endocrinologist at Galway University Hospital said, “obesity is multifactorial and no single initiative in isolation will solve the problem.
“However, this tax is arguably the most significant intervention of all, because it has the potential to fund all of the others.”