Let Them (Not) Eat Cake!

Sugar-taxQuestion: Public Health England has advised the health secretary to introduce a tax on which product?

Answer: Sugar – This is to tackle child obesity and encourage a healthier diet.

Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE (Public Health England) director of diet and obesity, stated this week that the organisation “does see a role for a fiscal approach” and the higher the tax increase “the greater the effect”.

We are all aware of the consequences of eating too much sugar. A stroll through any town reveals an alarming number of ‘fatties’ – and even more shocking is the amount of fat children. It’s one thing to actively choose bad food as an adult, but a child has little to no say in the content of their daily meals.

Parents can’t take the whole blame. Food producers are making larger portions – under the guise that we are getting more for our money. More what? More sugar, more flab and more illness. Not to mention supermarkets with their ‘buy one get one free’ offers and weekend deals. It’s no wonder most of us can pinch more than an inch!

Sugar – the culprit of this blog – is addictive. We are born with a sweet tooth. A study from Washington University found that newborns have a distinct preference for sweet flavours and children enjoy sugary foods far more than adults.

Whilst studies into obesity are interesting, it seems blatantly obvious what the problem is – and what to do about it. Put less sugar into our bodies. That’s all well and good, but most of us have no idea how much sugar is hidden in common foods. In an ideal world, everyone would grow, prepare and eat their own food and therefore know exactly what is being consumed. But how many of us have got the time? And how many of us can even be bothered when there are supermarkets down the road who will supply all our needs?

Personally, I think we (children and adults alike) should be better educated and informed about food. Fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose and maltose are all types of sugar. I know that I, for one, barely understand the labelling on most foods. It’s like sitting a school exam all over again! And none of us have got the time to work it out when we are actually in the shop.

What are your views on imposing a sugar tax? Would it have an effect on your family? Do you have the time (and the inclination) to prepare meals, or rely on ready meals through the week? Are you concerned about your or your child’s weight? What do they think? Perhaps start a discussion with them over dinner this evening.

2 thoughts on “Let Them (Not) Eat Cake!

  1. I guess that if you can have a tax on tobacco to make people healthier, and cut the NHS budget requirement, then you can use exactly the same argument in favour of a tax on sugar. I think you make an excellent point that adults can choose to eat what they like but children often have no choice other that no eat what is put in front of them and for that reason I think priority should be given to educating the parents.

  2. An alarming number of ‘fatties’!!?? This would appear to be written by a thin person then and sorry to take you up on it but thin people do tend to be very judgemental about those who are bigger than themselves as if those people have not possibly tried to lose weight. Many ‘fat’ people are having personal struggles every day with it and this kind of stereotypical statement doesn’t help, whether it was meant to be judgemental or not I personally take exception to the phrasing. People are people, some are happy with their size and some are not. I agree about possibly reducing sugar but I think you spoiled it by having a go a people of a larger size.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *