Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network backs support by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax
In response to a claim by the Irish Beverage Council (IBC) that ‘a sugar tax would not work’, Dr Donal O Shea, Ireland’s leading expert in the field of obesity, has come out strongly against IBC’s claims, but also stressing (as reported in today’s Irish Times) that there are multiple ‘separate drivers of obesity, and no single measure will be effective on its own’.
Cyclist.ie, and its European partner, the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) have long stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach to the issue of growing obesity levels in Irish society. One significant, and internationally recognised, approach to support the introduction of a Sugar Tax, is to actively plan for greater levels of physical activity. Ireland’s National Physical Activity Plan launched late last year emphasises the urgency of this task, as only 1 in 4 of 9year olds are meeting the required daily activity recommended. This is a health time bomb coming down the tracks!
Everyday cycling and walking has a vital part to play in pushing up levels of physical activity, and yet the recent decision by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reduce funding levels for major cycling projects in the Dublin region, is a negative statement by a state body, that flies in the face of the recommendations of the adopted National Physical Activity Plan. This NTA decision will set back cycling projects, and thus increased take-up of physical activity by individuals, due to the poor quality of present cycling infrastructure. It is a short term decision that will have immediate long term negative effects!
Cyclist.ie supports the call by Dr Donal O Shea for the introduction of a Sugar Tax, and for the funding and implementation of a range of measures to encourage active travel. The healthy future of Irish society is at stake.