Call for sugar tax to fight childhood obesity

There are calls today for a new tax to help prevent childhood obesity.

The Irish Heart Foundation is behind suggestions that the cost of sugar sweetened drinks be raised by 20% to deter young people from buying them.

There are currently 100,000 obese children in the country.

Health experts claim almost half of all adults here will be obese by 2030 if problem is not tackled.

Lecturer in physiology at University College Cork, Dr John Mackrill explains why sugary drinks are thought to be so bad for us.

"A typical serving if a fizzy drink contains about 30g of sugar," he said.

"The recommended daily amount of sugar intake for a adult male is about 70g maximum, and for a female, about 50.

"So putting that into context, that's at least half of an adult's intake of sugar in one drink."

Meanwhile, a new study shows 52% of the public supports a new tax on fizzy drinks to tackle childhood obesity.

The research was published by the Irish Heart Foundation as they launch their campaign for a 20 per cent tax on sugar-based drinks.

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