Wednesday 19 June 2019

Tax means no sugary soft drinks for blood donors

Blood donation clinics have been forced to swap to sugar-free drinks due to the introduction of the sugar tax. Stock photo
Blood donation clinics have been forced to swap to sugar-free drinks due to the introduction of the sugar tax. Stock photo

Claire Gorman

Blood donation clinics have been forced to swap to sugar-free drinks due to the introduction of the sugar tax.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) made the move to save 10c per can supplied to donors after they give blood.

In the past, donors were offered cans of regular soft drinks after giving blood, but these have been replaced by 'diet' drinks.

A spokeswoman for the IBTS said: "The decision to review the drinks that we provide to donors in clinics was made following the Government's decision to impose a sugar tax.

"We have not had any complaints from donors following the removal of sugary drinks from our clinics."

The sugar tax was implemented on May 1, resulting in the price of some popular drinks, such as Coca Cola, Pepsi and 7Up increasing by as much as 10c per can and 60c per two-litre bottle.

According to the IBTS, sugary drinks provide no benefit to donors after giving blood.

"There is no requirement for donors to drink sugary drinks, before or after donating," a spokeswoman said.

"We advise donors that they should drink plenty of cold, non-alcoholic fluids in the 24 hours prior to donating and eat savoury food and/or salty snacks the night before.

"We also provide 500ml of water to all donors on clinic and ask they drink this in the 30 minutes prior to donating. There is evidence that doing so will reduce the risk of fainting in donors. There is no evidence that drinking sugary drinks is any better than drinking water."

Irish Independent

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