Much like in the days of the Renaissance, when the higher your weight was equal to the height of your status, the UK is making obesity an expensive privilege. The British government is adding a 20% tax to all junk food, sodas, and all other unhealthy foods.
A Quarter of British Children Are Obese
With the increasing rate of obesity in the United Kingdom, many children are unable to participate in the active parts of their education. British people are citing food and drink advertisements as one of the leading causes of the gluttony that springs obesity, as well as product placements in TV shows. They’re calling for the government to impose a ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks and a general tax on unhealthier foods so people are less compelled to buy them.
The secret to the success of junk food is accessibility. People can get a complete meal (though some will argue that it’s mostly empty calories) for less than $5. And although it’s at the expense of people’s cholesterol and glucose levels, fast food is easy, it’s fast and it’s cheap. Thus, imposing a tax on fast foods will make food from McDonald’s just as expensive as a salad at a coffee shop.
Jamie Oliver Takes A Stand Against Obesity
Famous English Chef Jamie Oliver took part in a discussion of the obesity rate in the UK at Parliament. He was joined by Helen Jones, chairman of the British Petitions Committee and Dr. Sarah Wollaston, a chairman of the Health Committee.
The participants were calling for a 20% sugar tax on sodas, a ban on guilt lanes (the racks of sweets and sodas just before the cash register) and other grocery establishments. In addition, they also called for a change in the advertisements played on TV. Especially during times when popular TV shows like the X-Factor and football matches are on.
In a surprising turn, they also called for a come down with the cartoons normally associated with junk foods, such as the Kellogg’s cartoons and the Dairylea cow. Such animations target children and entice them into making their parents buy unhealthy foods. In addition, the committee demanded a label on all sugary foods stating exactly how much sugar spoonfuls there are in each serving of the product, and they were calling for an end to free soda refills at restaurants.
Any Country With High Obesity Rates Should Take Notes
The demands posed by the committee are somewhat strict but could prove to be effective. According to the World Health Organization, 74% of British men and 64% of British women will be obese by 2030. Thus, it’s only natural that the UK takes preventative measures before bad things happen.