Sugar tax would just be one part of solution
Published 01/09/2014 | 02:30
Irish people are packing on the pounds at a rate which is set to make us the fattest nation in Europe by 2030.
The merit of the latest report from the Royal College of Physicians is that it is based on the first-hand "daily reality" of medics.
It distills, down to a few basic measures, the actions which will help people change their behaviour.
Allowing all children to hop, skip and run in school playgrounds again is one, but the most contentious is the proposal for a 20pc sugar tax on fizzy drinks. On its own it won't make us slimmer, but it could send out a powerful indirect message. Maybe, more urgent is the need to curb the marketing of sugary food and drink to children on TV. But the area, including the sugar tax, merits "further exploration", according to the Department of Health. There's no rush on, although the effects of obesity will cost taxpayers around €1.3bn this year.