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Government considering sugar tax to tackle obesity

The Irish Government is considering introducing a sugar tax as one way to address the growing problems of obesity and Type II Diabetes.

Image: Matt Rourke/AP/Press Association Images

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT is considering introducing a sugar tax to tackle the growing problems of obesity and diabetes.

The introduction of a sugar tax is one of a number of issues which is being considered, Health Minister Dr James Reilly confirmed in a written answer to a Dáil question.

The Special Action Group on Obesity was set up earlier this year to identify a number of issues to help address the obesity problem in Ireland.

“Obesity is a factor in our growing rates of Type II Diabetes,” Dr. Reilly wrote in response to the question from Deputy Denis Naughton.

The Diabetes Federation of Ireland estimate that there are about 180,000 people in Ireland with diabetes and up to 50,000 of those could be undiagnosed.

France has implemented a similar “sugar tax” on fizzy drinks but the move has seen it become embroiled in a dispute with giant soda maker, Coca-Cola. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that the firm said it would pull its investments out of France but eventually made a U-turn on those threats.

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