In a bid to curb the growing problem of obesity in Britain, researchers from the Department of Public Health have suggested introducing a “fat tax”. They believe that thousands of fatal heart attacks and strokes could be prevented if VAT was added onto a vast range of salty, sugary and fatty foods. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has condemned the idea, arguing that people don’t want to live in a “nanny state” and it will turn them off the idea of healthy eating. Critics argue that it would be better to reduce the price and availability of better quality, healthier foods.
I personally believe that whatever you do, it won’t make a difference. It’s like the old saying, “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. At the end of the day, people will eat what they like, whether it is healthy or not and unfortunately there isn’t much the government or anybody else can do about that. In some ways we are all victims of the 21st century. There are so many different varieties of foods available now, some healthy and others not so healthy. We are also bombarded with advertisements in the media for different varieties of foods. It’s a big temptation for everybody and why is it that so-called unhealthy foods always taste so good, even if like myself, you do sometimes feel guilty after eating them! People have become greedy. Also portion sizes have grown much larger over the years. I watched an interesting programme on tv recently, where they discussed the types of food people ate during wartime, when rationing was in force. There wasn’t the varieties of foods available but the population was a lot healthier. Times have changed a great deal since those days and not always for the better.
Meanwhile experts say that a government scheme to give free fruit to schoolchildren may not result in any long-term health benefits. The government has spent millions of pounds giving daily free fruit or vegetables to four to six year olds in Britain’s state schools. Researchers discovered that whilst vitamin levels in the children rose initially, they soon fell back down again after a few months. It seems a lot of carers and parents were under the impression that children were getting enough fruit and vegetables at school, so provided them with less at home.