UK could introduce ‘Fat Tax’, says David Cameron

6 10 2011

Europe’s fattest nation is Greece, where 70 per cent of people are overweight, and 30 per cent are obese. Britons come fifth, behind Germany, Finland and Ireland.

The government will consider introducing a “fat tax” to tackle Britain’s growing obesity levels, the prime minister, David Cameron, has said.

Cameron said drastic action was needed to prevent health costs soaring and life expectancy falling.

Under measures introduced in Denmark recently, a surcharge is being placed on foods that contain more than 2.3% saturated fat. The levy targets high-fat products such as butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food.

Danish consumers have criticised the move, which has left many retailers complaining of excessive bureaucracy.

However, Cameron said the introduction of a similar idea in the UK should not be ruled out.


Isn’t this coming at the problem from the entirely the wrong angle?

I bet most of the readers here are not obese. Why? Because they exercise regularly or, having found my blog looking for ideas, are starting to.

I also bet that most of us occasionally eat  food that ISNT fresh, drink sugar filled drinks, drink beer, have the odd take-away, packet of crisps,  cake etc…etc…etc… I know I do (Not all of them of course). I sit behind a desk all day , but I’m not fat because I ride my bike almost every day and pay attention to how much volume goes in VS how much goes out.

I’d rather see the government reward people for exercising, or perhaps remove VAT from exercise equipment, subsidise gym membership’s, give tax credits to families who get involved with local sports etc – there are many  of things they could do, without using the STICK Approach.

I’m fed up with government punishing people in the hope of forcing change. Stop using the stick and start using the carrot . Of course this would cost money, but how much does obesity cost the NHS every year ?
According to reports in 2010 Obesity cost the NHS £4.3 BILLION !
What about the costs to uk employers ? State benefits ?

Why should healthy people pay more if they fancy the odd take-away, its TOO short-sighted.

The NHS defines being overweight as having a body mass index – your weight to height ratio – of between 25 and 30. “Obese” is a figure higher than 30

The Face Of fitness:

What the Government also needs, is a face to a fitness campaign, someone who can stand in Government and say “I know what you are going though, with hard work, you life will be better and richer for no longer being obese, I know, I have been there”

Who might that be ? Well Davd Cameron, Alan Lansley & Nick Clegg, look no further than me, I have been there, I am spending my time trying to help others, so who better than I  to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people who make the polices ?

You guys know how to contact me, I’d be quite happy to work as a Government advisor on Obesity, it would be a match made in heaven.




8 responses

6 10 2011

Gaz for Govt, Go for it, what a sterling idea !

Cameron Sign Him Up, Cameron Cameron Sign Him Up !

7 10 2011

Lol class

7 10 2011
Toby Field (@FatCycleRider)

I have to disagree slightly. I don’t think a tax on certain foods would ultimately be a bad idea but the way in which they tax food would need to be considered carefully. A lot of low income families would suffer as a result and high carb/sugar content should be addressed too (except for sports nutrition products).

We’ve seen that when things like petrol go through the roof in terms of cost, it doesn’t stop people driving as much as they used to.

7 10 2011

I’d use the same logic re fuel ( if the tax wasn’t need to keep the country afloat ) that as opposed to such high taxes public transport should be better, quicker, cheaper, more convenient etc

Use the carrot & put the stick away

7 10 2011

Petrol sales are 15% down, compared to 2008 and at £1.40 per litre there’s little wonder.

I agree with Gaz; should be more carrot and less stick!

7 10 2011

Re fuel

I worked out that getting the train to work would cost me £18 a week

It’s 12 miles , my car does 40 per gallon, at just under £6 a gallon it will cost me approx £8 a week in fuel

Added ins , tax, services it would still be cheaper to drive than take the train, then factor in over-crowding, the fact there is anti-social behaviour , it’s not a door to door service , what is the point in taking public transport ?

You can use a bigger stick to get people onto public transport than what’s being used now, so let’s use another angle and bring the cost down, the service better etc

Get that carrot out boys !!!

7 10 2011
Russell English

I do think that there should be some incentive to keeping your weight down. It’s like smoking, alcohol, petrol etc. Easy enough to penalise people for driving, smoking, drinking but people still do these things.

Your comment about train travel is a prime example, added to the fact that it’s less convenient too, there really is no incentive!

Where I used to work, they charged employees for not car sharing. Everyone was pissed off (apart from me as I cycled!)

On the other hand, I do think that parents who let their kids get fat should be penalised & punished.

8 10 2011

Think is Russ

A single pronged assault on anything doesnt work.

Fuel costs are high (Stick)—–Public Transport is poor (lack or carrot) = EPIC FAIL

So the same will happen with any potential fat tax, now if we made a fat tax (stick) and added a Carrot , I dunno, no Vat on bikes, tax credits for those that walk or cycle to work etc etc then it WILL improve obesity rates, I just need someone in Cntrl Gov to employ me now 😀

As for the Point about parents, I could agree more dude !

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