The Irish Health Minister James Reilly has again signalled that a tax on fatty and sugary foods may be on the cards.
Mr Reilly said he is considering a charge and has invited members of the food industry to meet him on the matter.
He made the comments at the launch of a report on obesity among children which found that a quarter of nine-year-olds are overweight.
Minister Reilly said there are other things under consideration, including a reduced VAT rate on vending machines that sell fruit.
Mr Reilly said: “The real key here is to make the right thing the easy thing to do.
“For instance, the vending machines in schools, instead of having snacks that are rich in calories, I would like to see an initaitive around that reduced VAT on machines that sell fresh fruit.”