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Ireland Suggests a “Fat Tax”

According to the Irish Examiner, a new report by University College Cork, in Ireland, suggests that imposing a so-called “fat tax” on unhealthy foods is needed to combat the country’s spiraling obesity-related health care costs. The report estimated that obesity costs Ireland €1.64 billion ($2.1 billion) per year — almost 3% of total health expenditures.

According to the article, Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director of human health and nutrition at Safefood (who commissioned the study), said the levels of obesity in Ireland had tripled in men and almost doubled in women over the last 20 years, and that the findings from the research were critical for establishing priorities in health policy development and to guide and inform the State’s response to obesity.

Ivan Perry, a lead author of the study, told the Examiner that, "Policymakers need to consider whether there is a need to [tax certain foods] to address the effects of diet on health and wellbeing."

Read the full article.

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