Healthy Living

Unhealthy Foods Should Be Taxed, Chief Medical Officer Recommends

An English chief medical officer has suggested that taxes should be imposed on unhealthy foods to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The suggested products to be taxed are those that contain added sugars and those with high-calorie content, such as cakes and pizza.

Prof Dame Sally Davies recently opined that the government should impose measures that would help alleviate childhood obesity by 2030. She said unhealthy foods should be taxed to discourage parents from buying them and instead promote the consumption of healthier alternatives such as fruits and vegetables to their kids, the BBC has learned.

Prior research found that ultra-processed products such as ice cream, chicken nuggets and breakfast cereals, when consumed regularly, caused poor health and premature death among children. Davies picked up the idea after finding out that taxes imposed on sugary drinks last April 2018 were deemed successful. She claimed that her suggestion could help families live healthier lives.

She also noted that parents must start buying healthy foods and urge the government to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable to the public. She also suggested that this measure can be more attainable by subsidizing unhealthy foods and imposing higher taxes on such products.

Health secretary Matt Hancock commissioned Davies to establish a report by September of this year and come up with a series of recommendations for the government to consider. Davies noted that experts on nutrition, public health, science and representatives from the food and drink industry may be compelled to share their inputs on the matter.

According to the NCMP and Child Obesity Profile: Academic Year 2017 to 2018 Update, severe obesity among children has been recurring since the years 2006 and 2007. The statistics has remained unchanged at around 2.3 to 2.4 percent and even increased to 4.2 percent in the years 2017 and 2019. As per OpenAccessGovernment.Org, the government has been planning to reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity in a span of ten years. Davies’ suggestion echoed this desire by encouraging healthy eating among its citizens at the primary level and reducing the high consumption of unhealthy foods.

Donuts Sugar-filled donuts considered as unhealthy food. Free-Photos/Pixabay