A NEW CALL for a sugar tax has come to solve the growing problem of obesity.
Trials in the USA— in Philadelphia and California — have shown taxing full sugar drinks reduces the sales of soft (and fruit) drinks, but doesn’t solve obesity among children.
The obesity ‘crisis’ is caused more by kids spending time in front of screens. Their risk-averse mothers won’t let them run around, play footie or even walk to school. Sales of four-wheel-drives are now driven by city mothers who drive their kids to school (screens going to kids in the back seat) rather than off-roading to some place the kids can run around burning calories.
Of course, the doctors calling for the 20 per cent sugar tax want the money channelled into health promotion and more doctors. Self-interest is always a major driver of calls for more taxes and levies. And it will be supported by all those public servants eyeing-off another income stream to support their comfortable work environment for achieving stuff all. (See ABC TV series Utopia).
And what about the research coming out that shows the non-natural sugar replacement sweeteners have loads of chemicals that cause all sorts of health issues? Do they get taxed too?
Do we also tax those tax-evading multi-nationals who churn crap content around to amuse kids so they sit and stare and aren’t exercising?
If governments really believe taxing soft drinks more (and what about fruit juice and those who have a spoon or two in their coffee), at the very least they could by-pass the self-interest groups and bureaucrats, and just ensure farmers who produce the sugar cane get a 20 per cent increase in the price they a paid.
That’d not only be useful competing with corrupted world markets, but put money back into regional communities, given farmers can’t help but spend on all sorts of stuff if they have any loose change rattling in their pocket.
There’s not a farmer that couldn’t be helped to sustainability with a price rise, especially if it is in the so-called interest of health and is government sanctioned.
Meanwhile, get the kids away from those screens and running about burning-off excess energy.