Thursday, October 6, 2011
Mo Money for Mo Sat-Fat
What I find incredibly interesting about this whole thing is that the USA has an obesity rate of 25% (yikes!), Canada's is 23% (also yikes!) and Denmark's obesity rate is nearly half of North Americas with 12-13%. A country that has a much lower percentage of obese people is the one coming forward and taking the initiative to improve the health of its people. Denmark admits that they eat way too much butter and fatty meats and after seeing the immense benefits from the ban of trans-fats in their country, they hope that this new tax will improve the health of its citizens even more. I applaud them.
One downfall: The fat tax does not discriminate against some foods that people may truly need which contains sat-fat levels that meet or exceed the 2.3% mark. For example, homogenized milk contains very high levels of sat-fat (25%) so this will be taxed for sure. This will then effect families of young children who need the high-fat milk to promote normal growth and health. Now that sucks especially since milk to already to expensive as it is.
Just a step back here. Yes, making people pay more for foods that cause us long-term illness is a good thing for sure and I hugely appreciate that this is the first step in a long and convoluted campaign and process to fight obesity. My big thing is something that I brought up just a few days ago and that is the combination of healthy eating and exercise to promote health. I think that if they're going to increase the price of foods that are bad that they should take that money and put it back into the system in a way that is good for us! Such as a subsidy to reduce the price of gym memberships or fitness classes. I just think that turning people away from buying a block of butter or fast food burger is just half the battle considering that people are so much more sedentary these days than ever before. Just a thought.
So the big questions is, will it work? Will people take a step back when they see the increased prices and think, "Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't buy this now that it costs more?"