We’re humans, grown adults, so we can make informed, sensible decisions for ourselves right? Well, you’d sure hope so. However, many adults fail to make so called ‘informed decisions’ when it comes to things that make them feel good (food, drink and frolics), so what hope do the children of our great nation have if the right message isn’t reaching them!?
Bring on the tax
I never thought I’d hear myself say this, especially after the shocking tax that was slapped onto the sport supplement market back in 2012, but BRING ON THE TAX! Now I’m not bias, the reason I had an issue with the 20% tax that was added to sports nutrition supplements is because they were targeting the wrong damn thing, nutrition supplements weren’t the problem, sugar was, but they knew the generally healthy supplement market were more of an easy target.
As if to add insult to injury, the government did an infamous U-turn on their proposed tax on pasties and other favourite pastry based snacks. Apparently it was scandalous to tax high fat foods, but absolutely fine to tax protein, vitamin and mineral dense sport supplements…right OK then.
Don’t tar everyone with the same brush
Granted, any tax on tasty ‘treat foods’ is harsh on those people who don’t abuse them, but we have to act in the interests of the greater good, and adding deterrents to high fat, salt and sugar foods may be the lesser of two evils when it comes to addressing childhood obesity! So if we all have to take a hit in the pocket in order to reset the mind-set of our future generations, then so be it as far as I’m concerned. Frustrating, but necessary!
Much like the ‘pasty tax’ back in 2012, the sugar tax has been floating around for some time now with one of its most prominent supporters being TV chef and personality Jamie Oliver. Jamie’s work has been crucial to the recent change in thinking of British lawmakers. The government are being encouraged to introduce tougher measures on sugary drinks including taxation and tighter budget controls on price promotions for ‘unhealthy food and drink’.
It is hoped that such interventions will help to tackle the rising problem that is childhood obesity. The state of health, and the economy is taking a major hit thanks to poor direction and guidance, a lack of incentive AND a lack of self-control. This problem is costing the tax payer £5.1 billion every year. Of course money isn’t the main concern, but if we’re needing to spend that sum of cash on obesity related morbidity (illness), then surely something needs to be done.
As a Nutritionist and qualified Dietitian that works in a Marketing team, I am profoundly aware of the impression a well-planned, cleverly targeted advert can have on reach and exposure. Therefore the proposed caps on marketing spend targeted towards sugary food and drink is just one of the ways we should start to clamp down on sugar related obesity. Sarah Wollaston, chairman of the Health Committee explains that:
"One third of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese"
This figure is simply too high! Yes, I recognise that we already pay billions in tax on food and drink, as mentioned by Ian Wright director general of Britain's Food and Drink Federation, but let’s make savings in other areas so that we can hit the food industry where it NEEDS to be hit.
Of course, these are just my thoughts and not that of Discount Supplements. I would love to hear your opinions on the matter so please do message below or Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest where you will find this post.
Mail Online, (2015). British lawmakers call for sugar tax to tackle childhood obesity. Retrieved 30th Nov, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3339190/British-lawmakers-call-sugar-tax-tackle-childhood-obesity.html