Medical professionals rail against obesity as some sort of scourge that is costing the nation dearly.
I hear medical professionals on one hand calling for bans, but on the other hand overlooking the fact that there have been some huge shifts in societal attitudes. I cannot blame them for wanting their patients to get better quickly, because it is reflective on how they do their jobs. And although the worst cases are probably those seen by dieticians who must occasionally recoil in horror at what children eat (or don’t eat), the dentist must despair when they see peoples mouths rotting before their eyes.
Not all is lost – if people are willing to own their part of the problem, i.e. make it theirs, solve it insofar as possible. There are several things that could be done to curb obesity, which I think politicians, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, practitioners and the public at large are all overlooking:
- Why not ban vending machines from hospitals? Hospitals are supposed to be all about being healthy and well so it is not just common sense that unhealthy food such as that which comes from vending machines not be permitted on site?
- Why not replace the racks of bags of potato chips with bowls of fruit in school cafeteria’s
- Whilst the economic theory behind G.S.T. is debatable, the merits of affordable fruit and vegetables is not – removing or significantly lowering G.S.T. on fruit and vegetables
- Stop having margarine/butter on sandwiches – I have completely removed myself from both, except on toasted sandwiches to stop them burning and my cholesterol level will be lower as well which is good for my heart
But the best one is the simplest one of all. It does not cost any money and will in actual fact save quite a bit in some families. How about actually taking some responsibility as parents and not letting your child take a bottle of Coke to bed with them each night. It will save them and you many painful (and painfully expensive)trips to the dentist. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and so forth cannot teach responsibility, though they can help instill the basics on which it is founded.
I do not support a sugar tax, but I do support having everything that has sugar in it highlighting how much is in it. At the end of the day parents have to have a degree of independence lest a nanny state type situation arises where the state does everything or gives the impression parents have no responsibility. A sugar tax will raise money that might not necessarily get spent on health.
Providing a medical and learning environment from the outset that promotes medical responsibility can only be beneficial. How well this idea of owning one’s health problems turns out is another thing altogether.