Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dealing with Obesity

In a previous essay, I argued for a 'fat tax' - a tax on unhealthy foods to reduce the problem of obesity.

Basically, the premise was that unhealthy foods are demerit good with significant social costs. Therefore, it is good that the government increase the price of unhealthy foods to make it reflect their true social cost.

However, tax is not the only way that governments can try to reduce the problem of obesity.
An NHS pioneer R. Le Grand is suggesting several options to make it much more difficult to live an unhealthy lifestyle. He recommends options such as:

  • Smoking permit. - To smoke it will be necessary to get a permit, perhaps from a doctor
  • Free fruit - free fruit for children to be given at school.
  • An exercise hour at work. - P.E. Lessons at work... (can't see this one happening)
  • Zero tolerance on salt in foods. no salt in processed food (you can always add it yourself)
  • Making it more difficult to buy alcohol.
  • letters to parents to let them know the weight of their children (Sorry, but your kid is 8kg overweight)

No comments: