The impact of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks is set to be examined in detail amid calls on the Government to consider further measures to reduce high levels of fat, sugar and salt in food.

The tax introduced in 2018 raised €32 million last year and it has resulted in 20 cent per litre being added to the price of drinks with five to eight grams of sugar.

This figure rises to 30 cent per litre for drinks containing more than eight grams of sugar.

Work has now commenced in the Department of Health on what is described as a comprehensive analysis of the tax.

This information could be used to develop a new levy on some processed foods.

The Commission on Taxation and Welfare has recommended that the Government draws up fiscal measures to reduce the consumption of highly processed foods and promote healthier eating.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the sugar tax has had a positive impact.

Mr Donnelly believes it has encouraged producers to reduce sugar levels in drinks, but this has to be fully evaluated.

The Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP) was launched in 2016 to coordinate the Government's response to the increasing problem of obesity in Ireland.

Childhood obesity is a priority under the plan, along with reducing inequalities that have led to people from lower socio-economic groups having higher levels of obesity.

Government sources have indicated today that while there is ongoing analysis of the sugar tax, new proposals in this area are not believed to be imminent.