A SUGAR tax on sweetened drinks has been shelved – despite calls that it be imposed in next week's Budget.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the report on a sugar tax – carried out in advance of last year's Budget – is now being looked at by a sub-committee of experts on obesity.
The sub-committee is to develop a range of options to support healthy eating, including considerations on high-fat, high-salt and high-sugar foods and drinks.
Professor Donal O'Shea, a consultant endocrinologist in St Vincent's University Hospital and St Columcille's Hospital, said there was widespread agreement among health professionals, now backed by a convincing body of evidence, that sweetened drinks and their pattern of consumption, including sports drinks, were significant factors in obesity, especially among children.
"Despite this, sugar-sweetened drinks remain popular in Ireland, and are heavily promoted," he added.
The Royal College of Physicians is holding a meeting on 'Your Health: you are what you choose' on Tuesday, October 15, at 6.20pm in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Attendance is free, but registration is essential. See www.rcpi.ie to register or for more information.