Fat Tax – a good or bad idea?

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The definition of overindulge: To indulge a craving to excess

You’d be a naive individual to not understand the consequences caused by smoking, drinking and eating fatty foods. If you were one of the individuals who were miraculously uneducated, then you may, somehow, be forgiven – as what’s equally worrying is the majority of our nation that continue to engross themselves in these destructive habits are now costing our beloved NHS a fortune, and thereby bringing its very existence into question.

One particular issue that’s currently rattling through the NHS is that of obesity. An emotional, complex and yet simple situation whereby an increasing percentage of our country are eating more, and moving less.

A stretched health service

Now, those of us who not only reach for an extra biscuit, but for another pack are seriously hampering the work and funds of our national health service. Costing the country £4bn a year whilst piling additional pressure on an already stretched service (sorry, the puns are too easy on this topic). My observation is this – the NHS was never designed to cope with a society that over indulges on this scale. It’s that simple?

Cameron’s fat tax – I’m in

Back in October 2011 David Cameron mentioned the possibility of introducing a tax on all fatty foods, a fat tax, to address the obesity problems plaguing the UK. A controversial introduction it may be, but personally I say the sooner this is implemented the better.

After reading a recent article in the Guardian it really opened my eyes to the issue.

A growing population in more ways than one

26% of men in England are obese, so that’s just over a quarter of males who are unable to to say  “NO!” to an extra slice of cake, biscuit, take-away or bacon butty. These people aren’t being held hostage, they aren’t force fed – they are fully (ir)responsible adults who are not only putting their own lives in danger, but other patients who require the services they’re effectively stealing. Of course the same thinking goes for alcohol abuse and smoking, though arguably the duty already on those items more than covers the problems at the other end.

Cameron’s solution: apply the gastric band at source?

The number of gastric bands fitted in the past 10 years has risen dramatically – 30 times as many this year as there was back in 2002.

And whilst smoking costs £2.7bn a year, the bill is essentially covered by higher place tax and duty costs. We need consistency in relation to decision making around duty on goods that in turn hurt the NHS. If the government want to tackle such an issue then some form of tax on fatty foods needs enforcing, make the message clear to the consumer and the manufacturer – encourage less consumption of bad foods – and why not incentivise foods that are good? Make them cheaper if it requires some subsidising?

 

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80 comments
djnffc
djnffc

I think a fat tax is a must. Obesity is a crisis, people spend too much worrying about unlikely tragedies like terrorism and not enough about things staring us in the face. Obesity is a problem ignored due to poor effort by the government.  An obese person should be treated with respect but they should be made aware that their lifestyle has negative effects for them, their family and for society. A fat tax would only be fair if the money was used to make healthy foods cheaper, furthermore any fat tax needs  to go hand in hand with other policies to bring real change.

sambo2104
sambo2104

i actually think that fat people should pay more tax. Everyone has an assessment once a year, BMI etc and the fattest 1% of the population pay an extra 10% tax whilst recieveing heavily discounted gym passes... thats a simple solution.

At least it will give them motiviation to go to the gym! 

DanAlberts
DanAlberts

In my opinion taxing fatty foods would be majorly unfair. There are so few food's that you can go out and get for a quick meal that are healthy, compared to the ease of say for example a microwave meal. I think a major factor to think about isn't always about the choice between fatty food or healthy foods. Most people will always pick healthy food over fatty foods, with the obvious exception of the treats that people give themselves which I think are hugely deserved.   Often I think one of the major factors that make people eat the crap fatty microwaveable meals, or a pizza or take away etc, is time. So are so many families out there that are truly struggling to scrape by. That have absolutely zero cash at the end of a month. And to compensate for that, to try and give their kids the very best that they can, people are working all sorts of crazy hours. There are tens of thousands of people out there who work from 9am in the morning until 8am at night. Then they get home and are looking after the kids. These people do not have the energy to get home and prepare a load of food, or put the effort into creating a healthy balanced meal/diet for their families. It is much easier, quicker, and a lot less effort for people to sling some pre packaged meal into the over or microwave and be done with it.   And I know it is easy to say that people should put a bit more effort into getting in from work and preparing the type of food that would not only benefit their family but the whole economy and the NHS, but unless you have been in that situation or are in that situation I think it must be very hard to truly appreciate the enormous effort it would take to do that at the end of ANOTHER back breaking day.

jimmyl
jimmyl

Joey, bang on, but there's an issue of education aswell as tax/cost reduction. I learnt to cook from my Mum, using cheap traditional food. She learnt from her Mum etc. The reason for this is that people had little money or choice. Then when I was a lad in the eighties McDonalds, Wimpey etc came along and were thought of as a treat for your birthday. It then became the norm for people to go to on a daily basis. The same with things such as biscuits, cake, all used to be a treat eaten in moderation, again, due to cost. Now, fast food/prepacked food is cheaper. I get looked on in my office as the "Mens Health Man", not because I look like Beckham, but becasue I eat Salad and bring in home made food. I'd say that around 50% of the people in my office are overweight and constantly snack on biscuits and sweets from the vending machine and cake trolley.

There's nothing wrong with having a burger or some biscuits or a takeaway, but in moderation, life is for living and food is for enjoying, but eating piles of processed sh##e because you can't be bothered to cook is only going to send you on the path to a heartattack or worse and you only have one body.

There should be a fat tax on processed food, but this should be offset in a reduction in the cost of healthy food (by way of subsidy to the producers). Also, education of our kids needs to start now and healthy meals provided at schools. If one good thing comes out of the Olympics, it will hopefully be that people become inspired to get off the sofa for an hour a day and do something, whether thats ride their bike to work, playing with their kids down the park or knocking a football about.

The priorities are also wrong, cancer treatments aren't provided due to the cost, yet we can afford to spend thousands knocking the wall down of a house and rehousing someone because they overeat?

It is actually more fun that sitting around moaning that there's nothing on tv whilst eating a microwave meal.

DrNakano
DrNakano

Stupid idea. The government already extends enough pernicious influence over us, and as prev mentioned, creates a vested interest.

 

Also, look up paleolitihic diet.... fat is not the enemy, carbs are... :-P

hooper8678
hooper8678

maybe stop force feeding us junk american culture ,with a profit obsessed economy.

gazmoore77
gazmoore77

What a great idea - in principle. In practise it would end up like all other tax initiatives that attempt to modify societies behaviours. Take smoking for example. It is bad, we all know it so the government taxes us to try and dissuade us. Every year they inch up the tax - never enough to actually put smokers off smoking as they can't afford to lose the revenue. Look at these link's and you can see that smoking provides a £5bn surplus for the tax coffers - not including additional benefits of employment etc. Does anyone really believe that a fat tax would be any different? I, for one,  don't!

http://www.the-tma.org.uk/tma-publications-research/facts-figures/tax-revenue-from-tobacco/

http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2009/090609_1.html

 

BillyArshad
BillyArshad

Ramadan (a month of fasting) will solve the dietry problem and I'm a British Muslim boy. I always going to my local gym in lytham everyday when i'm fasting. I lost my weight so I've strongly ignored the junk food until the evening time. It's pretty useful..

cab25
cab25

The problem with this is how do we go about putting tax on foods. Is it foods high in fat? Foods high in sugar (fruit juice contains plenty of natural sugars but the government aren't going to jeopardise their beloved 5-a-day scheme). Excessive consumption in both of these (and salt) can contribute to the problems we're trying to address like obesity and diabetes. But unlike cigarettes, where you can tax the purely negative externalities associated with it, fat/salt/sugar are not purely detrimental. We need all of these for a healthy diet and the difficulty comes in trying to decide how and when it becomes appropriate to tax goods containing these.

 

Something like fizzy drinks, to me, seem an easy solution; they offer little nutritional value and are pretty much pure sugar. Coke/ Diet Coke (or Coke Zero) are pretty much substitutable goods, you could slap a tax on regular coke and with gentle advertising, it wouldn't be difficult to get people drinking the sugar free stuff. But government aren't gonna risk pissing off these massive corporations for a relatively small benefit. But this is just an isolated example, the real issue is how can a tax that is large enough to be significant be implemented in a fair way, and the fact that this hasn't been put into place is probably proof that there isn't a reasonable and practical solution.

 

 

 

ctbuk
ctbuk

What about taxing the giant corporations that make all this junk food. Everybody knows Mcdonalds is shite. Doesnt come close to proper food. But because of the massive constant marketing drives they run they are always busy. Every kids film that comes out whether they have the free toys with the food. Like brainwashing kids So Disney Pixar etc also are at fault.

 There even doing Olympic range now for gods sake.

 But Cameron wouldnt dare try and take on the multi nationals of Mcd or coca cola easier just to tax the great unwashed with no come back.

DavePienaar
DavePienaar

Whilst obesity has become a massive problem in the United Kingdom it isn't as simple as to turn around and think that this person just eats and eats. There are psychological problems with it as well, and sometimes there are medical reasons as to why a person eats more than the average human being.

 

A tax on foods that are more harmful to the population seems a fair and good idea. More importantly, it is a more sensitive approach and one that needs to be taken in this instance. A lot of problems arise from being overweight such as bullying and so on, and you don't want someone going from overeating to under eating and putting their lives at risk in the opposite way.

 

The role that parents play when it comes to eating habits is certainly something that needs to be focused on, as well as further encouragement to exercise. Educating adults on the basic training methods for developing a child's gross motor skills for example could help a child feel more comfortable with exercising because their body's actions are more smooth and natural. Many kids nowadays don't know how to run properly and many don't have any hand to eye co-ordination because all their parents have done has shoved them in front of the television or computer console to shut them up, or get them out of their way.

seakali
seakali

hope it's ok to post this, but people might be interested in the 'evidence' http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=2957  - the summaries (!), especially children's views (young people's to follow) on being obese,  and the link with sedentary behaviour... the government are very interested, and not just in tax, which is controversial, issues like this are always 'individual choice' and 'social context' - it can never be one or the other, which only makes for diametrically and unhelpful opposed arguments, that i think need to be 'complimented' .... but absolutely, its starts in childhood, and the focus, i think needs to start there... we need to celebrate diversity in body size and get a real sense of what 'healthy weight' is too... xxxx 

femalegooner
femalegooner

What I find paricularly wrong is those parents who take their kids to McD's "as a treat". Those kids then grow up thinking McD's is something special. I can't remember the last time I ate anything from there. It's horrible and artificial, what I once heard described as "food-like substances". If anyone has seen the extras on the dvd of Morgan Spurlock's film "Supersize Me", he does an experiment where he leaves "food" from McD's unrefrigerated for weeks to see what happens to it. The stuff doesn`'t even go mouldy, it's got so many preservatives and so few natural ingredients in it. Maybe they should levy a tax based on the number of ingredients in a product. Apparently chicken mcnuggets have approx 120 ingredients!

PeteMcCullagh
PeteMcCullagh

I have a fairly poor diet being a student and all, a fat tax would punish me and many other students unfairly  when I've realised that I can avoid becoming fat by simply stopping eating when I am no longer hungry, it really is that easy. The problem I see is the victim culture we have whereby it's the cake companies fault for creating something unhealthy and tasty rather than the few greedy weak-willed individuals that have the freedom to eat one or a hundred and choose a hundred. 

g6juice
g6juice

I like what people are saying about encouraging more exercise instead of punishing for eating unhealthily. Maybe games modules like X-Box and so on should have a lethargy tax slapped on them!

 

Premier League footy is doing its best to encourage some kids (mostly boys sadly) to do more exercise, in the hope they could become good enough footballers to hit the jackpot, but we need to encourage kids to stay in form for the sake of it.

 

Promoting healthy lifestyles is difficult to do when sponsorship and advertising revenue comes from companies selling products that are to the detriment of those lifestyles, and keeping park space available for unprofitable activities such as jogging or team sports is very difficult for hard up councils who are faced with the option at profiting handsomely from its real estate value, so what to do?

 

While there's a conservative government, the bottom line will always be How Much Profit? so the people will have to find their own solutions, despite all challenges.

 

When I was a kid in the 1980's it seemed that there was a lot of emphasis on getting fit and doing sports. TV shows like It's a Knockout and Krypton Factor and loads of ones where you had to run around and have fun while exerting yourself and that were on and the Olympics were in all the comics on the back of hometown heroes Cram and Coe and co. Does that still exist? TV shows seem to encourage sitting around or just guessing what box has money in it or something. The elephant in the room is the fact that now kids have computers, they don't need to use their imagination to have fun, it's all provided. You don't need to run around like a loon to have fun when you can sit on your parents sofa and play exciting games. I suppose Wii was one small step in the right direction but people's living rooms are just not made for swinging your limbs around in.

 

The kids of the future may all be dangerously fat, but at least they'll have great hand/eye coordination!

glennuk1
glennuk1

How about a tax break on healthy foods. That combined with government grants for companies who produce healthy foods, so that they can afford to sell these foods at a lower profit margin.

 

Also in school how about more emphasis on life skills. I know it has improved in recent years, but i still don't feel it is enough. Being a teacher myself, i would love to see students having at least one lesson a week on how to live healthy, eat healthy, dangers of drugs, teenage pregnancy talks etc.

badwolf
badwolf

yes we do have a problem with obesity in this country, but it's not just a simple case of "taxing unhealthy food", you have to look at more behind this, what about people who have genuine eating disorders, we're not just talking glutton for the sake of glutton, people who are addicted to smoking/drink/drugs can get help and we seem happy to help people with these addictions, but when it comes to food, the immediate repsonse is "well it's your own fault, deal with it", an eating disorder can be as challenging as a drug addiction, because it's easier to get these foods, than drugs.We have to tackle that, i think simple Home economics in school is another thing that should be part of schooling, if kids are taught that, and maybe have no guidance from their parents, they think that kind of eating lifestyle is normal, then they pass it onto another generation.

 

Another is manufacturing, we have to stop all this "virtually fat free/zero fat" advertising, into fooling people into thinking that these are healthy meals when infact they are normally high in salt or sugar, example a yoghurt which claims to be low fat, gram for gram has the same amount of sugar as a can of coke, no-one would say "This is healthy" but because they government won't crack down on this rubbish labels because "well they are not breaking any laws because it is lower in fat", they can carry on without any worries long as there food item is being sold who cares?

 

Healthy foods should be  made cheaper, it seems that you can pick up frozen rubbish for next to nothing, but decent healthy foods seems to come at a premuin, again we need to start putting pressure so that people are encouraged to buy healthily but cheaply too, when a family who has a small income to start with has a choice of cheaper unhealthy or more expensive healthy, of course they will opt for the lower, not because they want to give kids an unhealthy meal, but sometimes would work out cheaper, it takes me back to the drinking issue, its cheaper to buy a pint of lager in a pub than for me to buy a pint of coke, but the government want us to drink less.

martinotoole
martinotoole

This is a massive issue, which the public at wide appear to be UTTERLY clueless about. I for one aren't all that happy knowing that a great deal of future public spending will have to be directed in this area, if we don't get real about the growing costs of obesity on society.  It's frankly nuts.  And the vast majority of it could be TOTALLY avoided, if parents and children were better educated. Have a look at some of the stats @profpaulgately is throwing around, and be prepared to be shocked... 

Sara_FoodDiary
Sara_FoodDiary

Fat tax is not fair nor a solution to solving obesity in adults and children. Specific help from the NHS, and promotion of health and well being is needed. When the main sponsors of the Olympic Games are McDonalds and CocaCola it sums up the commitment and priority the government are placing on helping this country turn from fat to fit. If Whole Foods were the main sponsors we could be heading somewhere ...... instead..... more big macs please! 

Damien_H
Damien_H

A tax on fatty foods isn't fair in my opinion. What about those like me who look after themselves yet eat fatty foods occasionally as a treat? It's like the whole class getting punished at school because other people are playing up. Food Technology needs teaching better at school and from a younger age. Healthy food can be tasty and easy to make, IF you know how.

Joey B
Joey B

Its great to see all the different opinions on this topic. Some great points in favour and against. I am of the opinion that 'fatty foods' should be taxed a little more. Or alternatively, it should be a little cheaper to eat a more healthy diet. As it stands to eat organic produce is quite expensive, in comparison that is to the crap available at the fast food outlets. I'm all for having a 'Maccies' or 'KFC' every now and again but you don't get to 30 odd-stone by eating a balanced diet do you? We should be educating our children. Again, its my opinion but 'fat people' breed 'fat people' and vice versa. When 'The Fatties' are banging out a gigantic portion of pizza and chips in the kitchen, how many times do you think they stop and say, "Hang on a minute Mandy luv, how's about we make the kids a balanced diet?" Highly unlikely in my opinion. Now flip that argument to "The Healthies". They are in the kitchen making themselves a balanced meal. How many times do you reckon they turn around and cook their children pizza and chips?

TheForceNo1
TheForceNo1

It still holds true that when you see a fat girl in the street, she is usually shoving a Gregg's sausage roll in her trap.

and too the girl eating nine pie and chips a day.  Try EIGHT PIE AND CHIPS daily.  That simple.

tsm76
tsm76

Think others have said it below, but just taxing things we think others should not enjoy is not really the answer.  Time to push back on the relentless creeping interference in people's daily lives and choices.  If the govt wants people to be healthier, then provide more facilities to do so, educate and encourage.  Don't try and regulate fatness through taxation, with armies of health assessors, food fat tax calculators, more tax collectors and box tickers and the like. That was the past government's way, cant this lot at least try and be different? If the economic benefits to the NHS are that great, then you wouldn't need taxation as it would pay for itself by less use of NHS fat services. NHS gastric bands are ridiculously expensive and stop people taking personal responsibility for something that is ultimately their fault. We need to start taking a longer term view as the consequences of short term fixes, through tax meddling here and there, are likely to be not what is expected.

 

I am not fat because I dont want to be fat, so I choose to exercise regularly and eat a sensible diet (which includes 'fatty food') . And that is not outside the bounds of what nearly anyone in this country can achieve.  And be careful what you wish for as don't forget that once they work out a way to tax your farts, they'll slap a tax on that too. And I do fart alot.

MrGilley
MrGilley

If someone cannot stop eating fatty foods to the point where it becomes an addiction or is detrimental to their health why are they not put into rehab?

this would happen if the said addiction was heroine or even to some extent alcohol, so why not food?

Alternatively if somebody is cutting themselves, self harming, they can be sectioned under the mental health act, surely feeding yourself to the point of it harming your health should be considered the same?

Obviously this would put further strain on the NHS but in the long term people would think hard about doing it if they may be sectioned.

I do not think it is fair to tax fatty foods as in a healthy balanced diet fatty foods are a necessity. Eating fatty foods in itself does not make you fat, as long as you do have a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.

Why should i be punished for those that cannot control themselves?

 

Stop making excuses and blaming others for your own downfall in most cases if you are overweight it is your own fault.

sisully
sisully

  Disagree about the tax on smoking paying for itself. The government gets from smoking falls well short of the true costs especially when reduced productivity is included. Approximately 20% of the population die from smoking related diseases. Death is usually due to one of the three major diseases caused by smoking - lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease and coronary heart disease. Many who suffer from these diseases experience years of ill-health and subsequent loss of productivity. Smoking is draining the NHS but a close second is obesity & one of the main consequences of being lardy is diabetes. Diabetics receive all medication free regardless of their income or ability to pay, that includes free viagra, why ?

dazzer
dazzer

where will the fat tax money go? should the government be teaching the youngsters more about food. The government i know just go round closing youth clubs, building new tescos mini supermarkets on the open fields where children should be playing. Prime example canberra school where the QPR team park there cars on a match day, that school there had a big area to play on, whats there now a dentist and a docters surgery slashing the play area down

Terrym
Terrym

Disappointing comments. Gastric bands are now dominated by the poorest in society. Cheap fried chicken is consumed by the same people who drink too much, smoke too much and probably do coke. The people who can afford the tax have the wherewithal financially and culturally to deal with it. You say tax, I say education. Pretending the more disadvantaged in society are going to eat healthily by putting taxes up is a little naive.

Lesbianwednesdays
Lesbianwednesdays

Exercise is far more important than diet, a shame that successive governments have seen fit to sell off school playing fields and municipal green spaces to developers. As a kid I used to kick a ball around the estate, now my kids need a lift in the car to get to the nearest field and I'll bet that my grandchildren will need to go further still.

MMPunk
MMPunk

BMI isn't a properly accurate way of measuring whether someone is actually overweight or obese, you can have conditioned athletes who would register as overweight on the BMI scale, but are actually as fit as a fiddle. There is no arguing though, Britain is becoming quite unhealthy as a nation. Doesn't help that everywhere you go there are stores/advertisements pressing unhealthy, convenient food on us. Thing is, it is just as easy these days to have a healthy diet than to have an unhealthy one. You only gain weight by consuming more calories necessary for your lifestyle, every action you do takes energy which is provided by eating and drinking, meaning you only gain mass by having more than is required. People need to shape up and have some willpower and put down a McDonalds or a KFC, and other mass produced swill, and have a healthy sandwich or just something good for you. Have some fruit juice or some bottled water instead of sugar filled rubbish. It isn't that difficult at all, just takes a tiny bit of willpower. Fat tax is a good concept but it should be a starting block to build upon, I wouldn't be adverse to having a strict list of food that fat people can and can't buy for themselves, physically regulating their intake so they only eat what they need to eat like everyone else. And don't bitch and moan for me using the word fat, the only people that get offended by that are fat people. Don't like being called it? Lose some weight and act like the majority of other human beings.

jackrathborn
jackrathborn

Hungary and Denmark already have a fat tax, it works very well. Hungary put 30.37% tax on to what they deem to be unhealthy, this would be a great start to test the water, as it wouldn't be that big a difference, say £1 for a can of coke to say £1.30 or so, would it make a difference?

g6juice
g6juice

Something about the idea that fat people are 'effectively stealing' medical services from everyone else makes me feel uneasy - and is a similar line of thought that illegal immigrants are stealing houses from other people. It's polemic that paints everyday people as the enemy within.

 

I know it seems unfair, but I agree with the other poster saying it's a slippery slope. Should we also up the tax on alcohol consumption and driving, two other activities that lead to accidents that separately or together stretch police and health services?

 

Also, it enforces the idea that if people don't all fall into line, then they should be punished, like a fascist regime or the army. I definitely think that people should be encouraged to get into shape, but I think demonising them is the wrong move. Unlike smokers and violent drunks, their actions don't hurt others directly (unless they sit on them).

 

As for David Cameron; I'm happy for him to slap a fat tax on chicken nuggets and coke if he'll also do it for foie gras and champagne!

Gaffney
Gaffney

There is a big financial cost in trying to eat healthy and the fact is many people just can't afford it. I can easily have an unhealthy lunch for £2 but if I want something healthy your looking at £4-5. That's an extra £14 per week or £56 per month, that's your Sky TV and it's only one person and only one of three courses. There needs to be a balance of reduced costs for healthy food and help improve exercise facilities. If I want a game of tennis it's basically £4.50 per game, 5 a sides football is £3. So maybe a fat tax would work but you can't just raise the cost of all food, the healthy food prices have to come down so people don't just end up paying more for their food. Also the revenue should go towards reducing prices for playing sports

Joey B
Joey B

 @Damien_H don't disagree with you at all. It isn't fair but the NHS is in desperate trouble and although not directly responsible, eating fatty foods isn't exactly helping. My point is made around the fact that if we stand by and idly do nothing, then this problem is only going to increase. We have to help offset the burden placed on the NHS, surely? What other ways can you think of, I am all ears.

BasingstokeR
BasingstokeR

 @Joey B be careful you don't fall into the "Organic" foods and produce are healthier by definition trap!  All food is organic - if it wasn't it wouldn't be food!

 

Personally I'm not sure if adding to price would help.  Do parents in families with very little money not still find the money to buy cigarettes or have a flat screen TV etc?  Some of the problem has to be with the widescale availability, and perceptions - a lot of people find it really quick and easy to go through a drive-thru rather than buy some healthier ingredients and cook something themselves - and have that ingrained in their heads even if its not always true.

 

I think obesity levels rising is part and parcel at the moment of our evermore throwaway and instant hit, time poor culture.

 

MrGilley
MrGilley

 ..oh and anybody on here complaining that healthy food is too expensive, clearly hasn't looked into it properly because that is not the case.

Also if you cannot afford such basic things as fruit and vegetables how are you posting on this site? Broadband, computers Smart phones etc all cost money, a lot more than basic food stuff.

It's all about priorities.

austinorton
austinorton

 @dazzer

 Completely agree, fat tax will only be worthwhile if we then use the money correctly, like educating youngsters or making healthy food cheaper.

Joey B
Joey B

 @Lesbianwednesdays  Feel strongly about this one, definitely agree, I grew up playing football with the lads and we walked everywhere to get there, playing anywhere there was light. The kids are too busy playing xbox now to go out and kick a ball around, I spent the best time of my childhood playing football on the "toppy" field on our estate.

Joey B
Joey B

 @jackrathborn The prices already seem to fluctuate wherever you go, I bought a can of coke off an ice cream van in Richmond today which cost me £1.20. At the end of the day we can always go home and drink water out of the tap which is much cheaper and healthier!

MrGilley
MrGilley

You can easily have a healthy lunch for less than a quid with forward planning. If that is too much hard work maybe you could cut the sky package (that is obviously a nessecity) down to the basic at £20 or get contributions from family, then you could afford the really expensive healthy foods like the 1lb bag of carrots at 77p in Tesco or Asda's bag of apples for £1. You could also then afford to go running in the street or exercising in your lounge (normally very costly).

Anyone who says it is cheaper to eat unhealthy food than healthy food has not really made an effort to buy healthy food. If you disagree then you are wrong, sorry.

MMPunk
MMPunk

 @Gaffney You can buy the ingredients for healthy food and make your own salads/sandwiches, that would put the cost down. Also, things like salads and sandwiches cost £2/£3 max, it depends where you shop and getting the same amount of food for the price. You can get a big unhealthy lunch for a couple of quid because it's cheap to make.

Antikue
Antikue

 @Gaffney How about cancelling your Sky TV, killing two birds with one stone, a) not giving any more money to the disgraceful Murdoch empire and b) getting out and about instead of sitting on your bum watching telly? it seems to me that people just have their priorities mixed up.

Damien_H
Damien_H

Thanks for your reply, like you I love a good debate. Such a tough subject really. I agree the NHS should be supported as free healthcare is a wonderful thing. Americans with easily treatable ailments are suffering and dying because they simply can't afford to pay for simple treatments.

 

Long-term I really think education is important, teach kids about food as early as possible and make healthy eating cool. As Panorama showed, even as adults we'll eat or drink anything that's marketed and publicised aggressively enough, so why not start focussing some of this on healthly foods? 'Eating apples helps me score 5 more goals every day in training' - Wayne Rooney.

 

Extreme but couldn't shops and supermarkets be held more responsible? In the same way pubs can't serve anybody who is drunk, supermarkets shouldn't really be serving the clincally obese person their basket full of sweets, fizzy drinks and cakes.

 

At the end of the day though, if you eat more calories than you burn you put on weight. People need to be more active. Measures for getting people more active is one for another day though!

austinorton
austinorton

 @Joey B

 But nowadays it costs to have a kick about, a fiver for an hour soon adds up. Fields are only accessible in the summer (and even then it rains) so sometimes its hard to get the exercise.

MMPunk
MMPunk

 @Joey B  @jackrathborn And if people don't like the idea of 'tap water' because of whatever reason, you can always buy those filtered jugs or boil the water and leave it to cool because that gets rid of and bacteria also. You can't really instigate a fully successful tax on things like a can of coke because people can buy those in bulk and sell them on at their own businesses. 

gazmoore77
gazmoore77

 @MrGilley

 Speaking from experience, you sir are wrong. I have recently been diagnosed with a disease that affects my spine - I desperately needed to lose weight but due to my condition the only exercise suitable is swimming. The cheepest I can do this for is £30 a month, add in prescriptions and already money is tight. Then alongside this I started to diet and I can tell you now that making my own healthy fresh salad for lunches is considerably more expensive than the old sanwiches I used to have. Has nobody learnt from Jamie Oliver's school dinner thing? It's cheaper to eat crap, that's why people do it!

Gaffney
Gaffney

 @Antikue I don't watch any TV actually, I pay it for my mum and sister. I only use the internet which everyone should have. Also out and about where? Every other person is being lazy not wanting to play sports.

MrGilley
MrGilley

Excuse me, but stop being so defensive. Sorry, but I was not being judgemental about you, I made no reference to you personally, the point i was making that people make excuses does not just refer to those who are overweight but also those that are not, justifying it and making excuses on their behalf. just because a form of exercise is not as enjoyable does make it any less doable. people need to take responsiblity for their actions and it doesn't help others make it easy for them to justify their actions.

austinorton
austinorton

 @MrGilleyExcuse me I personally live a healthy lifestyle so stop being so judgemental! You cant play on fields when it is pouring it down or with a layer of snow on it. No, not many obese people will go and play football even if it was free but banning ball games in areas prevent some of those who are not obese getting exercise and therefore they become unhealthier. To the earlier part of your point, I do understand there are many free ways to keep fit but it is common sense to know team games like football are going to be more popular forms of exercise than doing a run for example.

 

MrGilley
MrGilley

 @austinorton Just because it is more enjoyable to play team sports does mean it is any more healthy and that is the problem, people finding excuses to get out of doing thing s that they don't want to.

Do you really think most obese people would go and play football if it were free? most probably wouldn't if you paid them, after all their burgers may go cold and they may miss Jeremy Kyle!

 What a load of Sh*t  - "fields are only accessible in summer" where do you live? I know....Excuseville

austinorton
austinorton

 @MMPunkThe point here is about disguised exercise like playing football, yes you can exercise for free but everyone knows people are going to be more likely to play an hour of football than run for an hour. Which leads us to my previous point about how it is hard to play sports (like football) due to financial and enviromental factors.

 

MMPunk
MMPunk

 @austinorton  The rain? you're going to use the rain as an excuse for not exercising? rather than get wet and go for a run (which you could do in waterproofs) they're lots of things you can do inside your own home to get fit that costs absolutely nothing.

gazmoore77
gazmoore77

 @MrGilley

 You said it was healthy, if it aint a balanced meal it's not healthy pal!

You can go to a chicken takeaway and get a deepfried heart attack meal for little more than a quid, your example is nonsense as it's not a meal. Also good luck getting a lettuce for 50p, all the supermarkets have them for a quid at the moment and I can't even imagine what tinned tomatoes would do to a salad prepared the night before :-\  My salads cost me about a tenner and I get 6 meals from that so nearly double the cost - it would be much cheaper to make sandwiches from processed crap and add in crisps and chocolate rather than the fresh fruit I buy.

MrGilley
MrGilley

 @gazmoore77  @MrGilley

 not mentioning balanced, merely pointing out that you can get cheap healthy food as well as cheap crap. you still did not answer my question of what crap you could buy for less than fiver tht would provide 5 lunches.

gazmoore77
gazmoore77

 @MrGilley

 You obviously have a small appetite and no idea of what a balanced meal should consist of!

You also answered yourself with that last comment - people eat CHEAP crap because it's cheap! I accept many are lazy and education needs to be a part of the solution but you can't ignore the basic economics. There is something very wrong when you can buy a takeaway meal with little or no nutritional value cheaper than you can home cook a proper one. Jamie Oliver came up against this with his school dinners campaign and it will take a sea change in thinking as society has become far too narrowminded with an I'm alright Jack attitude. We need to shed the Thatcher ideologies and think long term and for all of society.

MrGilley
MrGilley

 @gazmoore77

 sorry gaz, you need to get down to the supermarket. 50p for a lettucex 2, 50p beetroot, 77p big bag of carrots,  31p tinned tomatoesx 2, 80p cumcumber, 80p big bag of onions, 4 peppers for £1.07. just over a fiver, will do you lunch for 4-5 days. and that's just off the top of my head. what cheap crap can you buy for less than that then?

people eat cheap crap coz they're lazy and/or it tastes good.

Antikue
Antikue

 @Gaffney Fair enough (although there are more ethical places to get your broadband, however that's not the subject here), and I agree about people not wanting to play sports, but for myself (and I agree, it's not the solution for everyone) I don't spend money on fancy TV stuff, or junk food or alcohol anymore because I didn't want to get diabetes or keep getting out of breath when I walk upstairs, in a little over 4 months I am fitter than I have ever been in my life, and now I can have those treats when I feel like it. If I can do it believe me anyone can.

 

And as I do not know where you live I cannot comment on places to go, but I would be surprised if there were no places to walk around or to the shops, I dunno I find enough excuses to not use public transport, and I don't have a car...