Health chiefs back tax on fizzy drinks

Malvern Gazette: Health chiefs back tax on fizzy drinks Health chiefs back tax on fizzy drinks

HEALTH experts are backing a fizzy drinks tax and a ban on pre-watershed junk food adverts to tackle the county’s ‘obesity epidemic.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which represents UK doctors, called this month for unhealthy food and drink to be treated more like cigarettes in terms of the harm they do.

Recommendations include a ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9pm, further taxes on sugary drinks to increase prices by at least 20 per cent, a reduction in fast food outlets near schools and leisure centres, a £100 million budget for interventions such as weight-loss surgery, no junk food or vending machines in hospitals and food labels to include calorie information for children.

On Saturday we revealed that one in 10 children in Worcestershire is obese by the time they start school.

The figure rose to 18.2 per cent – just under 1,000 children – by the time they started Year 6.

Dr Carl Ellson, chief clinical officer for NHS South Worcestershire clinical commissioning group, said: “Ensuring that residents lead healthier lives for longer is part of our own five-year strategy, and we’re continuing to work closely with local partners to implement the Joint Health and Well-being Strategy for Worcestershire.”

Dr Frances Howie, assistant director of public health for Worcestershire, said: “A quarter of the population of Worcestershire is obese, and a further quarter is overweight. Changing this situation is a matter of urgency. We are concerned about creating a healthier environment for our children.”

Ross Dewar, aged 33, strength and conditioning coach for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, who is running an initiative called “Healthier Worcester”, said: “It is great they are thinking in this way but we need to help educated people on healthy choices rather than just put prices up on the bad ones,” he said. Mr Dewar is also giving away a free 14-day healthy eating meal planner to readers of the Worcester News. Visit healthierworcester.com.

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8:04pm Mon 25 Feb 13

b1ackb1rd says...

So tax and not education?
Yet again well paid academics talking out of their collective rears.
So tax and not education? Yet again well paid academics talking out of their collective rears. b1ackb1rd

10:23pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

Now I like the IDEA of the NHS as much as the next person, but the price is ow too high. Not only do tax payers pay a disproportionate price, but we now have to suffer these kind of fools trying to dictate what is good for us and what is bad for us.

In a free country it would be up to the individual and the individual alone would have the right and the accompanying responsibility, which means in this case, paying the cost for the consequences of their decisions.

Unfortunately our system now enslaves the tax payer. Nanny state gone mad! A free country? Not even a resemblance of it. Shame on us.
Now I like the IDEA of the NHS as much as the next person, but the price is ow too high. Not only do tax payers pay a disproportionate price, but we now have to suffer these kind of fools trying to dictate what is good for us and what is bad for us. In a free country it would be up to the individual and the individual alone would have the right and the accompanying responsibility, which means in this case, paying the cost for the consequences of their decisions. Unfortunately our system now enslaves the tax payer. Nanny state gone mad! A free country? Not even a resemblance of it. Shame on us. Landy44

10:25pm Mon 25 Feb 13

littlejohn2 says...

What another tax , why ? Cann't say I've heard of anyone forced to drink it . We all know it won't make the slightist bit of difference , just another excuse to get, yet more of our money out of us.What next ? will we all be fitted with air metre's so we can pay to breath
What another tax , why ? Cann't say I've heard of anyone forced to drink it . We all know it won't make the slightist bit of difference , just another excuse to get, yet more of our money out of us.What next ? will we all be fitted with air metre's so we can pay to breath littlejohn2

6:38am Tue 26 Feb 13

TDH123 says...

There is plenty of education out there. What we need to stop is the obese having expensive gastric band operations, treatment for self-created diabetes and other ailments.
If they choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle well let them do so - just stop the expectation that the tax-payer will pay for their treatment!
There is plenty of education out there. What we need to stop is the obese having expensive gastric band operations, treatment for self-created diabetes and other ailments. If they choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle well let them do so - just stop the expectation that the tax-payer will pay for their treatment! TDH123

8:33am Tue 26 Feb 13

Arthur Blenkinsop says...

Has taxing cigarettes stopped millions of smokers from smoking and saved the NHS millions of pounds? No.
Has taxing alcohol stopped hundreds of thousands of over-drinkers from destroying their livers' and costing the NHS millions of pounds? No.
Why do the powers believe that taxing fizzy drink and fatty foods will do any good whatsoever?
The evidence is out there that unhealthy eating and drinking practices can do massive harm and do cost the state an awful lot of time and money. I am in agrrement with TDH - if people choose to ignore advice and choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle, why shouldn't they pay something towards their inevitable treatment?
Has taxing cigarettes stopped millions of smokers from smoking and saved the NHS millions of pounds? No. Has taxing alcohol stopped hundreds of thousands of over-drinkers from destroying their livers' and costing the NHS millions of pounds? No. Why do the powers believe that taxing fizzy drink and fatty foods will do any good whatsoever? The evidence is out there that unhealthy eating and drinking practices can do massive harm and do cost the state an awful lot of time and money. I am in agrrement with TDH - if people choose to ignore advice and choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle, why shouldn't they pay something towards their inevitable treatment? Arthur Blenkinsop

9:20am Tue 26 Feb 13

jb says...

This appears to be the governments answer to a lot of problems recently, if you can't make people do something tax it. There is plenty of information put out about how to lead healthy life styles, the right foods to eat, get more exercise so it's a case of allowing the individual the chance to make their own choices. If they did tax everything that was unhealthy where would the money go? I doubt that it would provide the necessary funding to treat obese people considering the state the NHS is in at the moment. There is a simpler choice to offer regarding fizzy drinks - buy diet one's!
This appears to be the governments answer to a lot of problems recently, if you can't make people do something tax it. There is plenty of information put out about how to lead healthy life styles, the right foods to eat, get more exercise so it's a case of allowing the individual the chance to make their own choices. If they did tax everything that was unhealthy where would the money go? I doubt that it would provide the necessary funding to treat obese people considering the state the NHS is in at the moment. There is a simpler choice to offer regarding fizzy drinks - buy diet one's! jb

9:59am Wed 27 Feb 13

Andy-Apache says...

OK, so governments need to raise taxes. Currently, it's fairly pressing as the country is broke.

Smoking is proven to be a pretty unhealthy pastime, so you tax it highly with the objective that the monies raised go towards NHS (perhaps this is a bit naive, but its a nice idea!) for treatment of your own self inflicted health issues. Seems fair to me.

Same for sugary fizzy drinks. You buy them, you pay more tax into the system. (The discussion on where that tax should go is another argument!)

It's all well and good suggesting education, but lets be honest here, some of the folk who follow the 'smoking - full fat coke - breakfast lunch and dinner Maccy D' lifestyle are possibly beyond education, so you have to hit the wallet in order to have a hope of changing them.
OK, so governments need to raise taxes. Currently, it's fairly pressing as the country is broke. Smoking is proven to be a pretty unhealthy pastime, so you tax it highly with the objective that the monies raised go towards NHS (perhaps this is a bit naive, but its a nice idea!) for treatment of your own self inflicted health issues. Seems fair to me. Same for sugary fizzy drinks. You buy them, you pay more tax into the system. (The discussion on where that tax should go is another argument!) It's all well and good suggesting education, but lets be honest here, some of the folk who follow the 'smoking - full fat coke - breakfast lunch and dinner Maccy D' lifestyle are possibly beyond education, so you have to hit the wallet in order to have a hope of changing them. Andy-Apache

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