Last week Mashable commented on the government’s decision to levy a sugar tax on all soft drinks that they claim will raise £520 million to be put towards primary school sports – that’s a pretty tricky equation to argue with. The tax will be imposed on manufacturers rather than consumers they said, but of course most are likely to then pass that onto the customer, albeit at their own discretion. Meanwhile George Osborne told MPs that the move was about ‘doing the right thing for the next generation.’
We have all been exposed to increasingly frightening stats about childhood illness, obesity, the waning health of the nation and the need for greater responsibility to be taken by large businesses and conglomerates. The tax won’t come in for two years, which theoretically allows manufacturers time to reduce the sugar in their products, so all of that makes it seem like a very reasonable move. Certainly Jamie Oliver, king of healthy school dinners, seemed ecstatic, writing: “We did it guys!! We did it!!! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks… a profound move that will ripple around the world.”
On balance that level of positivity seems to have been the general reception to the whole thing, although as one Twitter follower represented the other side of the coin commenting: “Jamie Oliver telling parents how to raise their kids. Taxation won’t stop parents giving their kids sugary drinks.”
In the same week our eyes have been drawn to another similar story – ‘should food labels include exercise ‘equivalents’?’ CNN asked. Can you imagine your Sunday sausages coming with a label to inform you that you can burn them off with 20-minutes worth of jogging?
Apparently the idea has been suggested by the Royal Society for Public Health, although it appears that it’s yet to pick up steam. We see the logic and how helpful it could be, but we’re on the fence here, would it create a sense of guilt around what we eat when surely the focus should be on nutritional value rather than calorie counting alone?
Not only that but the exercise equivalents could surely only be a very vague guesstimate because we’re all different when it comes to our metabolism? All that said, each to themselves, for some it may be an extremely helpful, particularly for weight management.
What do you think?
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