independent

Friday 29 August 2014

Taxation may help to tackle obesity – Perry

Published 22/10/2013 | 09:18

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A SLIGO-BORN professor says taxation may be necessary to get people healthier.

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Ballymote native, Professor Ivan Perry, was speaking at a conference in Cork about the proposed tax on fizzy drinks.

He said: "To change the culture in relation to diet and obesity in childhood, we need to move on several fronts at the same time.

"We need to highlight the issues of childhood obesity, provide clear dietary guidelines for parents and incentivise healthier choices through taxation."

Professor Perry says media campaigns to date haven't worked.

The Head of UCC's Department of Public Health said there was a need for large scale public policy initiatives.

He added: "There is currently an excessive focus on the role of personal choice in health related behaviour.

"Media promotions are largely ineffective unless supported by public policy measures."

The professor said there was no magic bullet that would resolve the crisis of epidemic levels of obesity in children and adults in a short time.

"This will be a long haul.

"We need to be innovative and flexible in our policy responses necessary."

He said deferring taxation and other measures is a recipe for inertia and continuing high levels of obesity, diabetes and chronic disease.

Sligo Champion

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