Sweet Taxation

The Government intends introducing a sugar tax in April, designed to reduce consumption of soft drinks containing high levels of sugar.

Will it work? We asked over 1,000 adults whether they believe that the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks will reduce obesity in Ireland.

One in four think it will, but the vast majority don't think it will have the desired impact. Men and those in higher income groups are more optimistic than others:

But the crucial issue is whether the sugar tax will change the behaviour of those who consume soft drinks (6 in 10 adults, though a lower percentage among women and older people).

Specifically we asked whether a tax equivalent to 10c on a standard can of Coke - or 60c on a 2 litre bottle - would make consumers drink fewer high sugar soft drinks.

It turns out that 3 in 10 soft drink consumers say it will reduce their consumption, though again a majority say it won't.  The rest don't know yet:

KEY TAKEAWAY: the sugar tax isn't a magic bullet when it comes to tackling Ireland's obesity problems, but our research suggests that a sizeable minority of soft drink consumers (especially the older, lower income cohorts) will change their behaviour. So it's a start.

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