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?