Sugar tax and obesity

Introduction

The following is a report from two separate workshops on the merits or otherwise of imposing a so-called ‘sugar tax’ as a response to rising levels of obesity, concluding with a commentary.

The UCD Institute of Food and Health, in conjunction with the UCD Geary Institute, hosted a workshop on June 8, 2012, to explore whether or not fiscal interventions, such as the imposition of fat and sugar taxes, will in fact impact on public health and, specifically, obesity. The workshop consisted of four presentations by UCD experts on food intake and obesity and the economic aspects of a ‘sugar’ or ‘fat’ tax. There was a general discussion on the merits or otherwise of introducing such a tax and it was chaired by Professor Cecily Kelliher of the School of Public Health in UCD.

The Health Impact Assessment workshop was carried out at the Department of Health, Hawkins Street, Dublin, on June 12, 2012. Minister James Reilly introduced the session and stated that: “This is a positive first step in the battle against obesity”. There were participants from the food and drinks industry, food and health, public health and academia, and the meeting was chaired by Dr Donal O’Shea, Chairperson of the Obesity Task Force.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2012; 58 (5): 245-248

Dr Michael Crowe BSc BDentSc DPDS
Graduate in Science (Nutrition)
Private practice in Ganter Crowe Dental Care
Dublin
T: 01-490 9153