Fat Tax

Discussion in 'General Weight Loss Discussion' started by TTfan, 5 October 2011 Social URL.

  1. TTfan

    TTfan Full Member

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    I was reading the coverage of the introduction of the "fat tax" in Denmark and was wondering what everyone else's thoughts are? I'll be really interested to see if this will make a difference in the next few years. My personal opinion is that adding a few £s on to everyone's shopping bill won't really change habits, and if the government in the UK wants to reduce obesity it should ban BOGOF offers on processed foods/sweets (how many times have I bought 3 choc bars intending to only eat one and within the next 30 mins all 3 are gone?), make it easier to be physically active (more set running and walking trails in public places etc) and set up tigher rules for marketing and clear labeling (e.g. 500ml bottles of fizzy drinks with the calorie content of "1 serving" written in large letters on the front, but when you look at it closely 1 serving is only half the bottle). Ultimately though I think all the government can do is try to make it easier for people who want to make the healthy choices, if someone doesn't want to make those choices then they won't, no matter what laws are passed.

    BBC News - Denmark introduces world's first food fat tax
     
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  3. MrsLmc

    MrsLmc Gold Member

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    Don't know if its a good idea or not. Suppose it can do no real harm. But there are things with good saturated fats that should be exempt like olive oil and nuts. Also think if they tax fatty foods they should reduce the price of good foods like fruit and vegetables.

    They also need to start teaching the facts about good nutrition and its benefits at national school in my view.

    xx
     
  4. Eka11

    Eka11 Full Member

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    I will be interested to see how it works out...

    I so agree about nutrition being taught in schools!! X
     
  5. FatmanSlimming

    FatmanSlimming Full Member

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    I wonder if the Danes are going to be concerned about our health as well and stop sending their Sausages, Bacon and lager over here ;)
     
  6. happypear

    happypear Full Member

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    First of all, I wish governments would be honest about taxing various things and tell the truth, that it is as much about grabbing a few pennies here and there as it is about any false concern about people's health.

    I would think it's too much of a stretch of the imagination to presume that if it happened in this country they would put the "fat tax" money into initiatives to help people lead healthier lifestyles...

    Second of all, these taxes only ever affect one group of people and that is the poor. Which makes it appear that the presumption is that only poor people are ever fat, or that poor people deserve to be 'punished' for being fat by having yet more choices removed from them. Even though there is a corellation between socio-economic status and weight, a fat tax would be a prime example of treating the symptom (as a convenient excuse to increase taxation) rather than the root problem.

    A tax on junk food I could partially understand. Although it still irritates me (because again, wealthy people are trusted with the choice not to eat themselves to death with Double Deckers whilst poor people are presumed too stupid to make said decision), it is more understandable than simply taxing high fat foods, the majority of which most people eat in moderation. Who eats a packet of lurpak in one go?

    Olive oil is high in fat, and because I'm overweight I expect people think I drink it like it's Pinot Grigio. I better wave farewell to my battered, deep-fried lard sandwiches too :cry:. Ludicrous.
     
  7. spangles

    spangles Bouncy Castle

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    as the article says, there's a great deal of evidence that sugar and refined carbohydrates are far more dangerous, and lie fundamentally at the root of the obesity crisis.

    That said then, I would support a hefty surcharge, akin to extra VAT, on processed foods (which tend to be the ones highest in sugar, salt and fat). (microwave meals, crisps, chocolate, cakes, frozen pizza, ready made pasta and curry sauces...) Fundamentally, we need to be encouraging people to cook from scratch - and then I really think a lot of the rest would fall i nto place. (Oh, and an outright ban on transfats).

    The money raised could then subidise local gyms, exercise classes and swimming pools. If people want to swim, make it free. Let there be no excuses for people based on cost.

    In this way, although sales taxes always hit the poorest hardest, the poorest would also stand most to gain.


    Lastly, nutrition has been taught at every school i've worked in during the last 15 years. maybe some are missing out, but it's on the national curriculum and should be being taught.
     
  8. CurvyKaren

    CurvyKaren Silver Member

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    I think it will never work - all that will happen is they will make more money from us (I say us but dont really mean it since I eat well now!)

    I think that they should teach and educate a Slimming World style diet in school - well balanced and proper 'for life' way of eating. It should be its own lesson and obviously put in the correct way where as it doesnt spark eating disorders.. Its all about the approach and PROPER education

    x
     
  9. TTfan

    TTfan Full Member

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    I think teaching nutrition is an interesting one, my school had a very good home ec programme and taught nutrition and the basics of cooking well. However, what they taught was in direct contrast with what we were all served for lunch. I know Jamie Oliver and some others have been trying to change this and I don't know how successful it's been but I got used to eating fatty, greasy foods at school which meant that the teachers trying to teach nutrition were fighting an uphill battle.

    I think using any "fat tax" revenue to subsidise healthy food and activities is a good idea. Sadly I haven't heard anyone in the government say they want to do it though. As a few have mentioned this tax would hit the poor far hardest, so if it was introduced it would need to be done carefully, in a way that meant that those on limited budgets could still afford to eat. Sadly I don't trust the government enough to think that they would do that.
     
  10. JLStretton

    JLStretton Choose Life.

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    Agree with MrsLMC in that if they do this then good foods should get a reduce in price, but there is more chance of hell freezing over than that ever happening.
     
  11. polly_pepper

    polly_pepper *reformed* sugar junkie

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    I think a fat tax assumes that people don't know that what they're eating is bad for them - and for plenty of people that's not the case. Like smokers know that smoking is bad for them, a lot of people know that eating burgers/sugar/deep fried whatevers isn't the healthiest choice. A fat tax may put the prices up and the 'bad' food beyond the reach of a small number of people but I don't know that in the long-term it's going to have any real worthwhile effect. Personally I think food labeling needs to be more 'user friendly' than it is - the traffic light system is a good start but something along the lines of 'eating one of these is equal to half your daily calorie/fat/sodium allowance' or something more illustrative would be helpful.
     
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