Tom Watson On Public Health With Dr Aseem Malhotra
The tobacco companies had a massive budget for lobbying and advertising - but logic prevailed.
Can we start anti-junk-food legislation with a tax on glycaemic index? ...and a ban on advertising?
Read your post with interest ..working from home today so not got the 50 mins to watch video but will over w.end .
Don't think any more tax is good . We are turning into a nanny state .
I would be happier to pay additional tax if it were directed into good causes . Do we see where tax on alcohol or sugar goes to ?
I think that the advertising ban was one of the more successful anti-tobacco legislations.
Agreed and the not on display cigarettes in supermarkets too . Sadly some leading politicians have interests in tobacco companies and the revenue makes it a double edged sword . My children are so anti smoking though and I feel the ban on smoking in public places especially around food is great . Shocked why hospitals aren't more pro active except for signs everywhere which people smoke around . Signs about paying to park your car are enforced though with high fines .
Generally, I favour a carrot over a stick in attempts to change behaviour. ‘Nudge Theory’ advocates promoting healthier food and exercise rather than punishing the unhealthier choices. Unfortunately most Tax changes hit the poorest hardest ☹️
Promoting "good food" would be difficult.
The government, NHS, and WHO do not know what "good food" is, and you would be competing against the "very well funded" advertising of Junk food.
Did somebody say ....Just Eat ...as if we ate variety it would be so simple.
I'm not in favour of taxing food, I think it sets a bad precedent.
However,I do think it would be helpful for many people, and an eye opener for some, if restaurants and takeaways had to display calorie content of meals on the menu. Ready meals purchased in shops already have to display this information.
It is not the calorie content that makes food junk (we all need energy). I think the Glycaemic index is the best indicator of "junk food".
Thing is, surely, that a lot of the really damaging stuff in the supermarkets isn't actually food, but unedifying and deliberately addictive conglomerates of sugar, salt and saturated fats, dressed up as food.
However, I take your point about taxing the public. I'd like rather to tax the companies that make this stuff, or at very least to provide some sort of disincentive for producing it in the first place.
We need to educate, not preach. Trouble is, there's a fine, fine line...
I think it would help greatly if the government would just stop prevaricating about fat, carbs, and highly-processed foods. Tell the truth. Then let people decide what they want to buy.
Right now, people are just confused. We've got this bunch of experts still telling people to buy low-fat food substitutes and eat lots of carbs (which the food manufacturers love, because carbs are dirt-cheap and can be hugely marked-up), and then this other bunch of experts who are telling people to ... uh, just eat proper food and stop worrying.
Who to believe? The low-fat message has received billions in funding since the 1950s. It's now part of what we call "common sense", even though it's abundantly clear that the message is wrong. Unfortunately, people are going to believe whoever shouts the loudest, and that's still the low-fat-mongers (nutritionists and supermarkets both).
I agree that taxing "bad" food is too Big Brotherish, but much of it is subsidized by the government and isn't inherently cheap. If the subsidies were withdrawn, bad food might start looking more expensive relative to good food. Fewer farmers would choose to grow grains, which would push the price of junk even higher. That would still leave the elephant in the room - soft drinks which are pure sugar and profit. I still wouldn't like to see them taxed, but people should definitely be warned, repeatedly, regularly and graphically, that they're a health risk.
Looks fascinating. Will deffo watch properly over the weekend.
The trouble as always is that no government wants to lose the vote of the mother or father who thinks what they let their children eat - and what they eat themselves, is no-one's else's business. Far too much is swept under the carpet for party-political reasons, and that happens on all sides. There needs to be a cross-party assault on the fast-food/snack industry for the sake of the NHS, which is bleeding out under the strain of national bad health across the generations, as well as for the sake of society itself.
I'm so bored by party politics and what it fails to do while it's busy blaming whatever opposition pertains. Such concerns as are raised by this discussion must appeal to a social conscience which transcends partisan lines.
Thanks for posting this.
This is such a complex subject. I don't believe a tax on junk food is the way forward. It should be around education, giving free help to people who want it and appropriate funding of preventative services. Unlike tabacco, alcohol and drugs we have to eat, so taking personal responsibility is essential. Some people don't know how to cook or understand about GI etc........
Not to mention lack of psychological support and free or cheap access to excercise classes.
I agree . . . It’s not a coincidence that our farmers are struggling, green grocers are going out of business and schools PE budgets have been slashed, and then politicians wonder why the nation is facing an obesity crisis!!
It’s good it is being discussed here and by MPs this is how the change in smoking started. When I was little a long long time ago lol 😂 there was just the local chippy now fast food is everywhere it was a real treat to have a chippy night. Now they are everywhere. Big companies making big profits and sod the health of the nation.
People seem to eat junk food as day in day out food because it is there and convenient for busy lives. As well as processed food, I guess for busy families it’s the cheapest and most convenient food. But these foods are not nutritional and somehow families need to become more aware of this. As a parent and foster parent I try to lead by example to teach the children how to cook using fresh ingredients, and help them understand about processed food and how it impacts your health, but also teach moderation as it’s ok to have occasionally. I guess that is all I can do
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