Sugar Tax and Diabetes


There is a new sugar tax coming into effect in Ireland in April. As a person with type 1 diabetes, who has to keep high sugar edibles and drinkables on hand all of the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first. 

A number of people in the type 1 diabetes community were very upset by the makers of Lucozade and other soft drinks companies already reducing the sugar content of their drinks in reaction to the tax in the UK. I haven't used Lucozade to treat low blood sugar since I was pregnant and had trouble chewing glucose tabs. So I couldn't be upset.

By the way the company did really good awareness campaign to inform people about the change: the posters were everywhere and they connected with all the diabetes organisations. 



Will it create a healthier society?

I'm very curious to know if it will actually work to promote a healthier society? If it does lead to more people being healthy, then I am all in!

I feel it has a good chance because it hits where it hurts most people, the pockets, and will make people stop to think. Unfortunately, money really does seem to be the only true incentive for people to do good, even if that good is for themselves, as seen in the "pay by weight waste removal" and the plastic bag tax.


Why wasn't I upset?

It's a Bulky Bottle

I’ve long since given up carrying the bulky bottle around or trying to drink an old half drunk bottle that’s long gone flat :-{ yeuch. Given all the stuff I need to carry around with me because of my type 1 diabetes that bulky bottle was not practical.

So Many Choices

I have so many other choices to use to treat low glucose. This is one area of diabetes management where we are not restricted in any way. I use packets of glucose tablets because they are small, compact, easy to measure and easy to stash EVERYWHERE! I’m also less likely to over treat my hypos with glucose tabs which is great for my diabetes management. 

I can use other products too: Jellybeans and Skittles are yum, but there’s also two thirds of the confectionary aisle in the supermarket as well as the fruit juices. Also, easy to fit in a purse!

The Word is Lucozade is possibly used to describe all sugary drinks

I feel like we use the word "Lucozade" just like the Americans use the word Kleenex for tissues. It’s a brand name but it’s also the word to describe all tissues or in this case the go-to sugary drink. When health care professional recommend Lucozade to treat a low glucose level I always assume they mean anything sugary.

Something worth mentioning - Tax Relief on Hypo Treatment.

I get a tax refund on a lot of products that I can use to treat low blood glucose and if I could stomach the hypo gel that is available on the long term illness scheme I would get it for free. This tax refund is done through the MED1 form on


So, I think I’ve have jumped aboard the pro sugar tax train. 

I do realize that I’m only one person with diabetes and I do know a number of people who do rely on Lucozade. This post is only my personal opinion and doesn’t reflect the views of the whole diabetes community.