THE introduction of the sugar tax on April 6 is undoubtedly a positive move to help reduce the excessive quantities of sugar in everyday foods and drinks. However, for those who live with or care for young children with type 1 diabetes, quick access to a fizzy drink or sugary food can be a life-saver, and the change is likely to create a new challenge.

People with Type 1 must regularly monitor their blood glucose levels. If levels drop dangerously low, they will experience hypoglycaemia (or hypo) and need sugar. For many, instantly reaching for a favourite fizzy drink can be what it takes to stop them going into a coma. They know the exact sugar content and exactly how much they need to drink.

All this changes as drinks manufacturers bring in new recipes and new cans of the same fizzy drink appear on the supermarket shelf alongside the old cans. The certainty of what they are taking is lost.

Awareness of the challenges associated with type 1 diabetes is increasing and the impact on them of the new sugar tax must be acknowledged and tackled.

Catriona Morrice
Development Manager, JDRF