Northern Ireland sugar tax is welcomed

Association calls on next NI Government to build on levy

The new Northern Ireland Assembly should press on with comprehensive action to reduce sugar intake in the province following the UK Government’s announcement of a sugar levy.

Roz McMullan, chair of the BDA’s Northern Ireland Council, said: “Soft drinks companies have made huge profits from an ingredient that’s cheap, addictive and has no nutritional value. Now they have an incentive to do the right thing, and reduce excessive sugar levels in their products.

“The next NI government has to build on this, and find new ways to help families and business make the right choices. We will need action on advertising, food labelling and public education if we’re really going to turn the tide on decay.”

She continued: “Every day dentists are seeing the results of an avoidable epidemic, with tooth decay now the leading cause of hospital admissions among our children. Government should consider everything within its powers to tackle this preventable disease and reduce the misery it is causing our children, young people and their parents. That means keeping every option on the table, whether it’s action on education, marketing, or taxation.

“We have an opportunity to put prevention at the heart of healthcare policy, and our politicians must not let their personal prejudices stand in the way of meaningful debate.”