Over in Britain, the nannies are trying to force people to eat better by taxing sweets and salty snacks. "It will save lives!"
Smartly, the Food and Drink Federation says it's not a good idea, no matter what some study says about detering people from buying junk food.
Many critics cited in the article said that this kind of tax would hit poorer people harder than anyone else. Junk food is just cheaper to buy than healthy food is. (I can tell you it's true here in America, as well, since I spend more to buy healthier food. I discovered this when I started Weight Watchers. Fortunately, I also started eating less, so it wasn't too much of a hit.)
The British Heart Foundation had the best quote of the article.
The British Heart Foundation said it does not support the tax.
"We believe the government should focus on ensuring healthy foods are financially and geographically accessible to everyone," it said.
One of the reasons I choose Weight Watchers was because the program wasn't about banning entire food groups to lose weight quickly. It was about changing my eating habits so that I knew what was healthy and how much of it was good for me. I can have chocolate every day if I wanted. I can have my coffee in the morning. I can have ice cream for dessert. But I have to balance it all out and be careful of portions. I don't need some nanny state telling me that I need to pay an extra 4.6% in taxes for the pleasure of buying a bag of potato chips. Besides, I only buy the low- or no-fat kinds anyway. Would my stuff be taxed at a lower rate? (And don't think that just because this is the UK we're talking about here that it wouldn't happen in America. Has anyone looked at the stuff that Bloomberg has done in New York City??)
You can read the entire article on the UK "Fat Tax" here.
Linked to this story was this one, on children who struggle with obesity. (Hubby and I are fascinated by Shaq's show on ABC, though I think it's a slightly morbid fascination - kind of like a car wreck you can't quite turn away from.) Notice that in all the advice from experts on what to do with your overweight child, feeding them properly isn't one of them. I am all for making sure a child knows his worth is not dependent on his looks, but a huge problem in our country is that parents are not feeding their children (or themselves) properly. When the outlook is for 50% of children to be overweight in the next 15 years or so, I think that we have a serious problem. It can't all be due to metabolism and genetics. One of the things I liked about Shaq's site is the push to have the entire family involved, not just the parents trying to change their children and saying that it's just "too late" for them.