An interesting article in the FT (archived by the way – so the link is certainly live – and this is the way I shall link to the FT in future – indeed have been doing for some time…) says:
“People then think that being obese is their fault,” Edson [co-founder of NHS-backed weight loss app Second Nature] said. “But if you go back 50 years there was virtually no obesity. Do you think people have developed a lack of willpower?”
This harks back to the poverty question – as though individual self- determination were completely detached from actual life.
It is far from that, and although it is nowhere mentioned in the otherwise interesting article, sweet fizzy drinks are a major culprit. Basically completely empty calories. Yes it appears the UK’s sugar tax has been widely copied – but the fizzy drinks now contain mostly aspartame, a substance that seems to be even sweeter and on which no research has been conducted. Such (anecdotal) evidence as there is, seems to suggest this is at least as difficult for health as sugar.
Meanwhile we should surely have a tax on sweetness and not just sugar.
And a tax on processed and prepared meals.
Of course that would make many – and so many precarious – lives more difficult – but government needs to get people out of poverty, and give them food and cooking education. For their future – and the future of the country.
That is for goodness sake, what we elect them for – if only – oh dear – we hadn’t fallen for the ‘we cannot afford it’ trope.