Industry & Business

Sugar sweetened drink tax will not tackle obesity

 Breaking News
  • Largest Ever European Investment Bank Support in Ireland The European Investment Bank is to provide a loan of €490 million to support construction of the new children’s hospital in Dublin. This represents the largest ever financial engagement by the European Union’s long-term lending institution in Ireland and the EIB’s first backing for a hospital in the country. The new children’s hospital project includes two [...]...
  • Strabane Manufacturer to Invest Over £7 Million in Ambitious Expansion Strabane-based Fabplus is planning to more than double its workforce and turnover with support from Invest Northern Ireland. The investment is part of a three year expansion plan to increase its market share in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, and gain a foothold in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Recruitment is underway to employ 83 additional staff at [...]...
  • PM Group Appoints a New Non-Executive Director Michael McNicholas has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Project Management Holdings (PM Group), the Irish headquartered international project delivery specialists. Michael McNicholas. Michael has over 35 years’ experience in senior leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He is the former CEO of Ervia, NTR plc and Managing Director of ESB International.  During his [...]...
  • Center Parcs Signs Contract With John Sisk & Son As construction activity on the much anticipated €233 million Center Parcs Longford Forest resort in County Longford ramps up, the company has announced it has formally awarded two major construction contracts to Dublin-based construction firm John Sisk & Son. The contracts for the construction of the 470 lodges and 30 apartments as well as the state-of-the-art centre [...]...
  • Medi-Shower Invests in Innovation to Drive Export Growth Multi-award-winning manufacturer Medi-Shower has created ‘smart showerhead’ technology which can reduce the risk of Legionnaires disease. The cutting edge product, developed with R&D support from Invest Northern Ireland is designed to meet the high requirements for hygiene within the healthcare sector. It reduces the risk of waterborne infection from bacteria that can build up due to poor design [...]...

Sugar sweetened drink tax will not tackle obesity

Sugar sweetened drink tax will not tackle obesity
April 27
09:00 2017

The Irish Beverage Council (IBC), the Ibec group that represents soft drinks companies, has highlighted the benefits achieved by soft drinks companies reducing the sugar content of their products through reformulation. The IBC also raised questions regarding the minimal benefit of the proposed tax on sugar sweetened drinks.

IBC Director Colm Jordan said: “As an industry we recognise the growing societal multi factorial challenge of obesity and are fully committed to playing our part. Food Drink Ireland data, verified by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, shows that our members have already removed 10 billion calories from the national diet from 2005 to 2012 by reformulating to reduce sugar content. Since 2012 the number of new ‘no sugar’ products brought to market has increased. In fact, just 3% of our calorific intake comes from sugar sweetened drinks.

“Further, two separate reports have highlighted the relative ineffectiveness of sugar/soft drinks taxes. A University of Oxford report – commissioned for the Department of Health – found that a tax would reduce obesity in Ireland by only 0.3%. This clearly shows that pursuing a Sugar Sweetened Drink (SSD) tax on public health grounds is a way of looking tough on obesity without actually tackling obesity.

“Digging down into the University of Oxford report, the figures show a reduction of 0.67% in the population who are overweight and obese, and a reduction in only 1.25% of the population who are obese. The rationale of introducing a measure that doesn’t work 99 per cent of the time must seriously be questioned.

“A separate McKinsey Global Institute analysis showed product portion size and reformulation were the top two most effective interventions against obesity. The same report found taxation to be the 13th most-effective approach, out of 16.

“It is clear from these two reports and other evidence gathered from international health experts (NCD-RisC) that increasing the cost of beverages for the consumer does not work. It has been tried before and it has failed before. In fact, in four countries where sugar sweetened drink taxes were introduced (Mexico, France, Denmark, Hungary) obesity actually increased.

“The over simplistic idea, that taxing soft drinks impacts consumption, ignores the hard evidence. If demand was based on price ‘own brand’ soft drinks would be market leaders – they are not. Taste is a more significant factor in consumer choice than price. Reformulation, rather than price hikes, will have a greater impact on consumer behaviour and calorie intake with no increase in the cost to our weekly shop.

“We are continuing to work with Government to deliver real and effective solutions to yield real public health benefits.”

About Author



Related Articles

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here


National Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2016

NIBRT Springboard Success Stories

Upcoming Events

  • No upcoming events
AEC v1.0.4