Sunday 22 April 2018

Taxing fizzy drinks is not the way to burst our obesity bubble

17/12/2015 Minister for Health, Mr Leo Varadkar TD during an announcement at Government Buildings, Dublin of a start date for a ban on smoking in cars where children are present. The announcement follows the signing of regulations by the Health Minister under the Protection of ChildrenÄôs Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Act 2014 to bring the law into full effect. Photo: gareth chaney Collins
17/12/2015 Minister for Health, Mr Leo Varadkar TD during an announcement at Government Buildings, Dublin of a start date for a ban on smoking in cars where children are present. The announcement follows the signing of regulations by the Health Minister under the Protection of ChildrenÄôs Health (Tobacco Smoke in Mechanically Propelled Vehicles) Act 2014 to bring the law into full effect. Photo: gareth chaney Collins

Lorraine Courtney

One in four children is overweight or obese. More startlingly, we will be the fattest country in Europe by 2030. Responses to these statistics have included a letter sent by Health Minister Leo Varadkar to Finance Minister Michael Noonan, asking him to impose a 20pc "sugar tax" on fizzy drinks. In the letter Varadkar outlined the consequences of Ireland's sugar rush, saying: "Obesity presents a major public health problem for Ireland with one in four children now overweight or obese at age three."

But is a sugar tax that will disproportionately affect the poor really the most productive way forward?

Our obesity problems will only be solved by a holistic approach that also commits to getting school children exercising in fun, accessible ways.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss