Question: 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.