The Removal of High Sugar Sweetened Beverages from UCD

In May 2018, Ireland joined with several other countries, such as France, Mexico, and the UK, in taxing sugary drinks. Healthy UCD conducted a seven-week trial in January 2018, before the sugar tax was to be implemented in Ireland, to remove all high sugar sweetened beverages (SSB's) from UCD campus. Research was carried out amongst a sample of 500 UCD staff and students to see if they had noticed the absence and, if so, had they changed their drinking habits accordingly. As a result of this trial, UCD no longer stocks high SSBs on its campus. 

Checked against sales data from this period, it was found that the majority of people switched over to healthier alternatives without complaint. 75% of those who regularly purchased drinks high in sugar failed to notice the absence of SSBs during this seven-week period. The majority of students said they supported, or at least did not oppose, the permanent removal of sugary drinks from campus following the trial. Retailers on campus reported a spike in demand for no/low sugar drinks, with their uptake increasing by 7%.‌

The trial and subsequent full removal of SSBs was completed as part of the Healthy UCD initiative. There were significant contributions by members of the Healthy UCD committee, particularly Dr. Celine Murrin who led this research and Odhran Lawlor, Hospitalities Services Manager, who secured the agreement of the campus’ licensees.

If you would like further information and to read a list of FAQ's please click on the following link-The Removal of High Sugar Sweetened Beverages from UCD

Healthy UCD is committed to our aim of being a global health promoting University that ensures the holistic health and well-being of every member of the UCD community. The removal of high SSB’s from campus is one of a number of initiatives we are continually working on to make the campus a healthier place to live and work.