I am sure most of us have seen images such as the one below clearly showing us how much sugar is in most of the popular bottled and canned drinks. Rather hard hitting don’t you think?! It puts into perspective how much sugar is really concealed in some of our favourite beverages. Personally I will drink perhaps one of the drinks below per week on a weekend when eating out, fairly sensible right? Done in moderation and not to excess in line with a very well balanced and healthy diet during the week…. and majority of the weekend I may add! But the issue here isn’t adults, its children and child obesity.
So hitting the headlines “Sugar Tax” crashes onto the scene as one of several measure proposed to take the issue. The Health group behind the tax have a more extensive 7 point plan to tackle the issue which is outlined below:
- Reduce added sugars in food by 40% by 2020
- Ban all forms of targeted marketing of ultra-processed, unhealthy foods and drinks to children
- Disassociate physical activity with obesity by banning junk food sports sponsorships
- Reduce fat by 15% in ultra-processed foods by 2020
- Limit the availability of ultra-processed foods and sweetened soft drinks as well as reducing portion sizes
- Introduce a sugar tax to incentivise healthier food
Looking at the points we can see they’re heading generally in the right direction, but in my opinion this is not the solution to the problem. Yes taxing these drinks will discourage children to an extent but I think they forget all the other high sugary foods that you see constantly pushed at the ends of supermarket isles and on discount shelves.
Is it children that are buying all these sugary drinks? Or is it parents buying them for them?
Ultimately for adults I believe it comes down to education and with children having good role models around them at a young age and via such marketing mediums as television. If children are brought up in an environment where sugary foods are e.g. a weekend treat rather than a staple part of your day to day diet they are less likely to indulge leading to obesity. To create this environment we need parents to be more conscious of their eating habits and educated the as to what proper nutrition is. The next job would be to not only ban marketing of such foods but also direct children toward healthy eating options. Because not all sugary foods are bad, take fruit for example and having them in moderation isn’t the issue!
BRING BACK BANANA MAN I SAY!