[Column] When life is too sweet: Obesity on the rise
His casual manner made Jamie Oliver a sensation when his first program, “The Naked Chef,” hit British TV screens in 1999. Not only did he make cooking look easy, but also his “blokey” approach has been widely credited with sparking men’s interest in cooking. But the celebrity chef’s influence has not stopped in the kitchen; he has become an effective social campaigner. “Feed Me Better,” started in 2005, took on junk food and advocated healthier school meals. The campaign was eventually backed by the government, and he was voted the “Most Inspiring Political Figure of 2005.”카지노사이트
Oliver also established charity restaurants, where training is provided to prepare disadvantaged young people for a career in the hospitality industry. The chef has been committed to social causes throughout his career and used his popularity for advocacy. Most recently, he called the conservative government to use the revenue from the sugar tax on fizzy drinks to fund the school meals of around 800,000 children who, despite their families’ dependence on means-tested benefits, do not qualify for the current free school meal program.
This put the sugar tax back onto the agenda. George Osborne, the Conservative chancellor of the exchequer who introduced the tax on sugary drinks, came to the aid, and even suggested that he would have extended the sugar tax to other products if he was still in office. Regrets were also expressed that the current Conservative government delayed the ban on advertising junk food. The former chancellor is right to be concerned: A health survey suggests that nearly 2 in 3 adults in England are either overweight or obese; a ticking time bomb for the already much-stretched National Health Service.
The World Health Organization supports taxing sugary drinks to reduce consumption of them and obesity, but only 10 European countries have introduced sugar taxes. Whilst a body of research supporting these taxes is building up, it is easy to see that they might be a hard sell. The food and drinks industry can be expected to make every effort to stop governments and legislators from taking on sugar.
But can we afford inactivity? Korea has also seen considerable increases in average weight and obesity. In 2020, nearly 1 in 2 Korean men was overweight (48%), according to data from the Korean Disease 바카라사이트
Control and Prevention Agency. This was especially true for men in their 30s (58.2%), which is a cause for concern. Whilst women’s overweight and obesity levels are much lower (27.7%), they have also seen their highest figure and sharpest increase. Surely, the COVID-19 pandemic and the drop in physical activity it caused are central to the recent surge in overweight and obesity, but this should not deflect from the long-term upward trend in available data.
Nobody should pretend that sugar taxes are a “magic wand,” but in a policy package including, for instance, the promotion of sports and education (also targeting alcohol consumption) they can play an important role in efforts to reduce overweight and obesity by reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and foods and promoting healthier choices.
Sugar taxes with differential rates based on sugar content can also incentivize the industry to reformulate their products, like the reduction of sugar content in cereal. It is well known that the aging of societies is putting considerable pressure on health services. Obesity increasingly adding to this should cause worries. The advocacy of celebrities can be important, but it is not enough. Politicians need to show more leadership, too: prepare the electorate for unpopular choices and resist the pressure from industry interests. 온라인카지노