I am feeling very strongly, in a positive way, about about the UK government introducing the sugar tax on April 6th and I will explain why.
We are champions in kidding ourselves. We, as in humans. Wherever we turn, magazines, newspapers, TV, radio there is so much talk about obesity. And of course how to battle against it, because it is a battle. I am one of these people who is battling but I am at least trying. New diets are being introduced all the time. People are making millions from these so-called ‘new ways to lose weight’ diets. However if you go to W.H. Smith what do they ask you every time you pay at the checkout? ‘Would you like the family size chocolate for £1?’, or a similar question. This is a fairly new concept. I still remember the days when W.H. Smith did not sell sweets. When I did complain at the check out, the cashier agreed with me but said they were being forced to ask this question and were being monitored in order to make sure they did. I called the head office but did not get anywhere. Even the most determined adult might give in at the end of a long, hard day at work or with a hungry, tired child at their side. That is exactly what they want don’t they? It is all about making profits and ignoring health warnings that are being shouted from the magazines and newspapers that they also sell in W.H. Smith.
It is a double standard isn’t it? We know that the obesity problem is a health issue and costing the NHS money and yet we are encouraging people to become fat/fatter. I feel sorry for Jamie Oliver who did such a good job introducing healthy dinners at schools but Dear Jamie the problem is not the schools is it? What difference will it make to the kid if his parents continue feeding him unhealthy food at home. I know from my own experience as a teacher, the amount of loving parents picking up their kids armed with sweets, crisps etc. Who has more power? His parents or the school? Who can instil a lasting impression on a child’s life?
Why are there different menus for children at restaurants? When does a child become eligible to eat the same food as the parent? The so-called vegetable problem with children is a man-made problem in my opinion. From an early age, it is assumed that the child will not be fond of, for example, broccoli. But if it is presented as a problem, it will be a problem. I remember when my older son was about two years old we were invited to have lunch with other mothers and kids. We, the mothers, had a lovely chicken with a cream sauce and rice whereas the children were given canned pasta and dinosaurs (what were they, processed chicken?) which smelled horrible. My Gustav refused to eat it saying, “I want what you are eating.” And rightfully so.
How about the introduction of a child to drinking water? When does this happen? We give it to them when they are small babies. So why is it assumed that the toddler will refuse to drink it? Why give them coloured liquids? If these are not introduced as the norm, from an early age, they will be considered a one-off drink rather than the usual, everyday one. I am sure my usual response to a three year old when he or she asked for a drink, ‘There is only water or milk’ was met with disbelief.
Bring on the sugar tax I say! Biscuits are so expensive in Denmark and apparently this is because of the sugar tax. Obesity is harming us. Alcohol and cigarette prices increase at every new budget, because they are also harmful to our health. So I think sugary foods and drinks should have the same treatment.
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