Policy goes pop

AT FIRST sight the latest wheeze from the Plaid Cymru ‘think tank’ to put a tax on sugary drinks in an attempt to combat obesity appears unreasonable.

But how would they implement it or even define a sugar?

With a whole range of natural sugars plus an endless list of artificial sweeteners already in use in both domestic and commercially produced foods, I think that’s another idea consigned to the back burner.

There is already plenty of advice from the health service and the media about what and how much to eat and drink, so weight control really comes down to personal habits.

On a lighter note, my only regret is that with the warmer weather and the acres of flesh about to be exposed I didn’t invent sun cream.

Mr A. Greenhalgh Ross Street Newport

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:25pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Mervyn James says...

I don't believe in taxing an issue to, as a means of addressing it. Its just an excuse to get more out of people who won't change attitudes because they are addicted and that addiction isn't recognised. Far better they created laws banning sugar and salt and fat content in foods, then a real difference can be made. It is clear the health 'warnings' are a complete waste of time as people eat what they like to eat regardless. Only legislation banning bad stuff is going to address it.

Supermarkets can help by not buying/selling foods with high contents of additives like sugars and salt, (Frozen food being amongst the worst), the means are there, no-one is using them, its pimping just to tax it and there is no difference when they do, as with cigarettes it hasn't stopped people smoking, nor has increased taxation stopped people drinking so much.

Imports of illegal cigarettes and booze have gone through the roof as a result. 'Low' salt and sugar goods are misleading, they STILL contain unacceptable amounts. No added sugars or Salt, just means that apart from the current high contents, they haven't 'added' any more !

7 weeks ago some kind person vomited all over the pavement near my home, despite torrential rains and street cleaning none of the contents dissolved, what on EARTH are people eating in these take-aways that don't bio-degrade ?
I don't believe in taxing an issue to, as a means of addressing it. Its just an excuse to get more out of people who won't change attitudes because they are addicted and that addiction isn't recognised. Far better they created laws banning sugar and salt and fat content in foods, then a real difference can be made. It is clear the health 'warnings' are a complete waste of time as people eat what they like to eat regardless. Only legislation banning bad stuff is going to address it. Supermarkets can help by not buying/selling foods with high contents of additives like sugars and salt, (Frozen food being amongst the worst), the means are there, no-one is using them, its pimping just to tax it and there is no difference when they do, as with cigarettes it hasn't stopped people smoking, nor has increased taxation stopped people drinking so much. Imports of illegal cigarettes and booze have gone through the roof as a result. 'Low' salt and sugar goods are misleading, they STILL contain unacceptable amounts. No added sugars or Salt, just means that apart from the current high contents, they haven't 'added' any more ! 7 weeks ago some kind person vomited all over the pavement near my home, despite torrential rains and street cleaning none of the contents dissolved, what on EARTH are people eating in these take-aways that don't bio-degrade ? Mervyn James
  • Score: -3

12:40pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Llanmartinangel says...

It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 8

1:48pm Fri 14 Mar 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Llanmartinangel wrote:
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
Mostly agree with you - but the food industry, and their lobbyists fight tooth and nail against any sort of labelling legislation that would make them label food honestly. You just don't know what you're eating these days.

Some examples, just off the top of my head; the ready grated cheese you buy in supermarkets. Hands up all the people who know that what's described on the packet as an 'anti-clumping agent' is actually sawdust? Or who knows that they put Beaver anal glands and urine in ice cream? Or that there's an ingredient made from human hair in bread?

Just a few examples to give you food for thought.
[quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.[/p][/quote]Mostly agree with you - but the food industry, and their lobbyists fight tooth and nail against any sort of labelling legislation that would make them label food honestly. You just don't know what you're eating these days. Some examples, just off the top of my head; the ready grated cheese you buy in supermarkets. Hands up all the people who know that what's described on the packet as an 'anti-clumping agent' is actually sawdust? Or who knows that they put Beaver anal glands and urine in ice cream? Or that there's an ingredient made from human hair in bread? Just a few examples to give you food for thought. GardenVarietyMushroom
  • Score: 1

1:59pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Realist UK says...

Liberal / Leftwing policy: If you can't ban it, tax it.
Liberal / Leftwing policy: If you can't ban it, tax it. Realist UK
  • Score: 2

2:38pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Stevenboy says...

Realist UK wrote:
Liberal / Leftwing policy: If you can't ban it, tax it.
You're right. Answer to everything, another tax. The solution in this case is to keep Plaid out at all costs because if you thought Labour were bad, this band of lunatic nationalists would cause a car crash unseen before in British politics.
[quote][p][bold]Realist UK[/bold] wrote: Liberal / Leftwing policy: If you can't ban it, tax it.[/p][/quote]You're right. Answer to everything, another tax. The solution in this case is to keep Plaid out at all costs because if you thought Labour were bad, this band of lunatic nationalists would cause a car crash unseen before in British politics. Stevenboy
  • Score: 1

3:54pm Fri 14 Mar 14

whatintheworld says...

Llanmartinangel wrote:
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs.

i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.
[quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.[/p][/quote]while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs. i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers. whatintheworld
  • Score: 1

4:15pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Llanmartinangel says...

whatintheworld wrote:
Llanmartinangel wrote:
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs.

i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.
You are right about footing the bill for other people's lifestyle choices but that too is a minefield. My GP once refused to send me for physio for a sporting injury claiming that I had contributed to my own condition through excessive sporting activity. An extreme example but illustrates the difficulty. Good point GVM makes about the devious food industry but the letter is about Plaid's bonkers policy on sugary drinks. If you can't figure out that there's excessive sugar in sugary drinks you shouldn't be allowed out unsupervised.
[quote][p][bold]whatintheworld[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.[/p][/quote]while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs. i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.[/p][/quote]You are right about footing the bill for other people's lifestyle choices but that too is a minefield. My GP once refused to send me for physio for a sporting injury claiming that I had contributed to my own condition through excessive sporting activity. An extreme example but illustrates the difficulty. Good point GVM makes about the devious food industry but the letter is about Plaid's bonkers policy on sugary drinks. If you can't figure out that there's excessive sugar in sugary drinks you shouldn't be allowed out unsupervised. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 2

4:47pm Fri 14 Mar 14

pwlldu says...

Llanmartinangel says...

It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.

No its the function of the taxpayer to pick up the NHS bill when fat people need treatment, just like drinkers and smokers.
Llanmartinangel says... It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool. No its the function of the taxpayer to pick up the NHS bill when fat people need treatment, just like drinkers and smokers. pwlldu
  • Score: -4

4:51pm Fri 14 Mar 14

pwlldu says...

Why not legalise some drugs and then tax it.
Why not legalise some drugs and then tax it. pwlldu
  • Score: -4

5:08pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Llanmartinangel says...

pwlldu wrote:
Llanmartinangel says...

It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.

No its the function of the taxpayer to pick up the NHS bill when fat people need treatment, just like drinkers and smokers.
Agree. But who decides which lifestyle causes illness or injury requiring treatment? Sports people? Reckless drivers? At what BMI would you start charging? One thing is certain, a tax won't fix it.
[quote][p][bold]pwlldu[/bold] wrote: Llanmartinangel says... It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool. No its the function of the taxpayer to pick up the NHS bill when fat people need treatment, just like drinkers and smokers.[/p][/quote]Agree. But who decides which lifestyle causes illness or injury requiring treatment? Sports people? Reckless drivers? At what BMI would you start charging? One thing is certain, a tax won't fix it. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 2

6:56pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Mervyn James says...

Lifestyle is a personal choice, but eating is entirely dependent on what is on offer to buy, and the relevant affordability of it, unless you are growing your own. There the onus is on the SELLER to ensure what is sold is not harmful to the buyer. If that onus is ignored then it is the duty of the state to protect the customer. They cannot just sit there and accept OK, if that customer wants to shovel salt and sugar into his or her body every day that's fine. Many labels mislead on content the duty again is to prevent such food items being SOLD.

The other more serious issue is to protect the child from developing the Junk and lethal food diets of MacD's, take aways, fried chicken, chip shops and cheap supermarket goods loaded with crap because it is cheaper. There I think the onus is on the state to prevent people abusing themselves, by taking the crap out of it, and forcing food manufacturers to come to heel, and to stop killing off our populace with their crap goods. People who KNOW such foods are bad for them and still eat it obviously are unable to exercise real choices, and because the food industry doesn't offer them that choice.

the recommended safe limits may not work because people eat to excess... I never fail to be amazed at the amount of people wandering our streets grazing like cows around the clock,there is no need for it. Apart from basic foodstuffs like veg and potatoes and some dairy products we need little else for personal survival,and certainly not 36 varieties of pizza, 180 varieties of frozen meals.... 69 varieties of pasta sauce.. 87 flavours of crisps, and.... you get the drift, food totally unnecessary for our daily lives. Less choice, just eat more healthily. We actually do not need supermarkets at all....
Lifestyle is a personal choice, but eating is entirely dependent on what is on offer to buy, and the relevant affordability of it, unless you are growing your own. There the onus is on the SELLER to ensure what is sold is not harmful to the buyer. If that onus is ignored then it is the duty of the state to protect the customer. They cannot just sit there and accept OK, if that customer wants to shovel salt and sugar into his or her body every day that's fine. Many labels mislead on content the duty again is to prevent such food items being SOLD. The other more serious issue is to protect the child from developing the Junk and lethal food diets of MacD's, take aways, fried chicken, chip shops and cheap supermarket goods loaded with crap because it is cheaper. There I think the onus is on the state to prevent people abusing themselves, by taking the crap out of it, and forcing food manufacturers to come to heel, and to stop killing off our populace with their crap goods. People who KNOW such foods are bad for them and still eat it obviously are unable to exercise real choices, and because the food industry doesn't offer them that choice. the recommended safe limits may not work because people eat to excess... I never fail to be amazed at the amount of people wandering our streets grazing like cows around the clock,there is no need for it. Apart from basic foodstuffs like veg and potatoes and some dairy products we need little else for personal survival,and certainly not 36 varieties of pizza, 180 varieties of frozen meals.... 69 varieties of pasta sauce.. 87 flavours of crisps, and.... you get the drift, food totally unnecessary for our daily lives. Less choice, just eat more healthily. We actually do not need supermarkets at all.... Mervyn James
  • Score: -1

9:35pm Fri 14 Mar 14

endthelies says...

I'm all for healthy eating but I think it starts with learning to cook. Its a skill a lot of younger folk don't have. Parents have to work so maybe there's not enough time to show their youngsters how to cook. I think they should bring back home economics in schools and at least then children have the basic knowledge to cook a meal from scratch. The cooking lessons in schools now consist of bringing in 'ready made' pastry, ready made fillings etc. When I was at school (not that long ago thank you) I remember having a lesson on how to wash dishes properly! I've never forgotten it though and at the age of 11 I was a very professional dish washer upper. All joking aside, those lessons stick with you. Its no good just saying you have to eat healthily. Back it up with some life skills too.
I'm all for healthy eating but I think it starts with learning to cook. Its a skill a lot of younger folk don't have. Parents have to work so maybe there's not enough time to show their youngsters how to cook. I think they should bring back home economics in schools and at least then children have the basic knowledge to cook a meal from scratch. The cooking lessons in schools now consist of bringing in 'ready made' pastry, ready made fillings etc. When I was at school (not that long ago thank you) I remember having a lesson on how to wash dishes properly! I've never forgotten it though and at the age of 11 I was a very professional dish washer upper. All joking aside, those lessons stick with you. Its no good just saying you have to eat healthily. Back it up with some life skills too. endthelies
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Lord coed melyn says...

Lest we forget?
Conservative party conference 2011 fat tax? We are looking into a tax? Cameron said,
Good article in huffington post. 2014
Why conservative mandarins say no ? Hurts big business.
Forget the fat people they will die out give them more make it fast?
Go on have as much as you like it will only kill you,
Tories can save on when you pop it. N.H.S Do remind use sugar is a Drug, As is salt? YOU GET ADDICTED. Maybe Tax the manufacturer for puting it in amounts that do not to benefit of health. CUT IT DOWN AT SOURCE AND GIVE OUR KIDS A CHANCE?. As my old mum used to say what you don't get cannot hurt you..
Lest we forget? Conservative party conference 2011 fat tax? We are looking into a tax? Cameron said, Good article in huffington post. 2014 Why conservative mandarins say no ? Hurts big business. Forget the fat people they will die out give them more make it fast? Go on have as much as you like it will only kill you, Tories can save on when you pop it. N.H.S Do remind use sugar is a Drug, As is salt? YOU GET ADDICTED. Maybe Tax the manufacturer for puting it in amounts that do not to benefit of health. CUT IT DOWN AT SOURCE AND GIVE OUR KIDS A CHANCE?. As my old mum used to say what you don't get cannot hurt you.. Lord coed melyn
  • Score: -1

9:59pm Sat 15 Mar 14

pwlldu says...

Blackwood by-election has been called for Thursday, 24 April.
Blackwood by-election has been called for Thursday, 24 April. pwlldu
  • Score: -3

11:16am Wed 19 Mar 14

Bobevans says...

whatintheworld wrote:
Llanmartinangel wrote:
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs.

i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.
The approach should be those that abuse their bodies through excessive eating, smoking or drinking should have to pay something towards their health care once a doctor has advised they should cut down on their food intake, smoking or drinking
[quote][p][bold]whatintheworld[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.[/p][/quote]while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs. i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.[/p][/quote]The approach should be those that abuse their bodies through excessive eating, smoking or drinking should have to pay something towards their health care once a doctor has advised they should cut down on their food intake, smoking or drinking Bobevans
  • Score: 0

11:16am Wed 19 Mar 14

Bobevans says...

whatintheworld wrote:
Llanmartinangel wrote:
It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.
while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs.

i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.
The approach should be those that abuse their bodies through excessive eating, smoking or drinking should have to pay something towards their health care once a doctor has advised they should cut down on their food intake, smoking or drinking
[quote][p][bold]whatintheworld[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: It is not the function of governments to police what people eat it is the responsibility of the individual. Protecting stupid people from themselves is a futile exercise. Let Darwinism take its course and remove them from the gene pool.[/p][/quote]while that sounds like a good plan, we end up footing the bill for people's lifestyle choices through the nhs. i agree that a tax is unlikely to fix this. we need legislation; but as mushroom said, the food industry are seasoned (badum tish) lobby-ers.[/p][/quote]The approach should be those that abuse their bodies through excessive eating, smoking or drinking should have to pay something towards their health care once a doctor has advised they should cut down on their food intake, smoking or drinking Bobevans
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Wed 26 Mar 14

robrat41 says...

They have to put lots of sugar and salt in to the processed food as the quality of the ingredients is so low they would be unpalatable without.

This has to be done so the food is affordable to those on low incomes and benefits whilst still profit producing for those who can afford to eat properly.

Obesity is mostly a poor persons problem so the idea to add tax to the only food they can afford is reprehensible.
They have to put lots of sugar and salt in to the processed food as the quality of the ingredients is so low they would be unpalatable without. This has to be done so the food is affordable to those on low incomes and benefits whilst still profit producing for those who can afford to eat properly. Obesity is mostly a poor persons problem so the idea to add tax to the only food they can afford is reprehensible. robrat41
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree