So, our wonderful politicians, led by former doctor and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar decided that they have to protect us from ourselves and force us to be healthier by introducing the Sugar Tax (correctly: Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax). The Irish Heart Foundation and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland also supported the tax and claimed it will be a significant step in the fight against obesity.
The goal is to move people away from drinks that contain sugar and while there is the alternative of just drinking water, the probability is HUGE that people will move to diet drinks if they want to avoid paying the significant surcharge on drinks that contain sugar. Drinks containing between five and eight grams of sugar have experienced a price increase of 20 cent per litre and drinks with more than eight grams of sugar per 100 ml cost now even 30 cent more per litre.
All this to FORCE us to be healthier!
But did Leo Varadkar, the Irish Heart Foundation and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland really do their homework? Does avoiding sugar definitely make us healthier?
Interestingly there is a study that was published by the American Heart Foundation in April 2017, that indicates that our politicians and the two health-sector organisations mentioned above, probably did something really really bad to the people in Ireland!
The study looked at 2888 people for stroke and 1484 people for dementia and checked if sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drink consumption had any impact on the risk of suffering a stroke or getting dementia.
And they found that artificially sweetened soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, while sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia!! :-O
So if thanks to Leo and his boys you moved from sugar sweetened drinks to artificially sweetened drinks to save some money, you might not die of obesity, but you are much more likely to die of or at least suffer of a stroke OR lose your mind!
In other words: Adults who had one or more diet drinks a day were 2.9 times more likely to develop dementia and 3 times more at risk of suffering a stroke compared to people who didn’t drink diet drinks. And drinking diet drinks is far worse than drinking drinks sweetened with sugar.
Great job, Leo!! Thanks! :-(