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Obesity petition

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    Many people seem to see this petition as simply a fat tax, which would punish everyone. I want to clarify again: yes; there is a fat tax in part one. But this is a dual apporach and the money raised will be used to subsidise healthy eating. Healthy people will gain overall.
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    Consider this:

    1) You eat a healthy diet
    2) Eating a healthy diet includes eating fruit and vegetables
    3) This petition would subsidise fruit and vege
    4) Subsidising fruit and vege will lower the price

    Conclusion: you will be better off as you will pay less to maintain your current diet
    Yes but it's a balanced diet. We enjoy fatty foods also. Any savings made by subsidies will be balanced out by the taxation on the fatty foods.
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    If people want junk they'll get it no matter how much it costs. Fatty food can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. People should be given more information about how to lose weight and get more education, but the simple fact is that it comes down to individual motivation at the end of the day rather than cost.
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    (Original post by Scott1541)
    More like we gotta fat ass over here
    :p:
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    Reading this petition while stuffing my face with breakfast pizza and (soon enough) Easter eggs.

    It's a nope from me, though I can see the nice intention behind it.
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    Council funded gyms and leisure centres already have cut price rates for those on lower incomes, the elderly and students.

    Fruit and Veg should be cheaper. Supermarkets DO piss me off sometimes when my fresh fruit, veg, chicken and fish costs way more than the pizzas, ready meals, bottled sauces and cakes & crap bought by the couple next to me. :'(

    Taxing fatty foods doesn't impress me tbh because I don't want to feel guilty for buying a sausage roll or a cupcake with my coffee though I can understand how that tax can make money for the health service as anyone can eat crap food not just those who are seriously overweight.
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    I agree in principle with each of the points, but the problem with taxing anything is that some people will still buy it no matter how much it costs. People generally do know the risks of too much junk and too little exercise, but any measures you propose and people will be whining "NANNY STATE! YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO EAT!" as they did with the increase in tax on tobacco and more recently alcohol (plans for, at least). People will simply buy fatty food at the higher prices and less fruit and veg, despite any subsidies you introduce on the latter. It will hit the poorest the hardest, since they are the ones who tend to rely on food with high saturated fats the most e.g. ready meals, takeaways, fast food.

    I think education is the key, start teaching kids about nutrition early and hopefully it will make a difference. Educate parents as well, as some simply don't know how to feed their kids. My cousin is a trainee teacher and she asked her class to name some vegetables and was shocked by how few they recognised or had tried.
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    (Original post by andrewpeters)
    Yes but it's a balanced diet. We enjoy fatty foods also. Any savings made by subsidies will be balanced out by the taxation on the fatty foods.
    I know its called a 'balanced' diet, but it still involves more fruit and vegetables than fatty foods. So it should be an overall benefit to healthy eaters


    (Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
    If people want junk they'll get it no matter how much it costs. Fatty food can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. People should be given more information about how to lose weight and get more education, but the simple fact is that it comes down to individual motivation at the end of the day rather than cost.
    Not entirely due to motivation; economic factors also play a huge role. The reason why raising food prices on fatty foods so far hasn't worked very well is that the price of healthy food has remained relatively high, and it is still cheaper to live off junk food: This petition would correct that by lowering the price of healthy food as well as raising the price of unhealthy food.
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    (Original post by I<3LAMP)
    Council funded gyms and leisure centres already have cut price rates for those on lower incomes, the elderly and students.
    It has helped, but most sport activities remain relatively expensive. In addition, local governments and councils are currently facing huge budget cuts, and the current local government subsidies are unlikely to last

    (Original post by I<3LAMP)
    Fruit and Veg should be cheaper. Supermarkets DO piss me off sometimes when my fresh fruit, veg, chicken and fish costs way more than the pizzas, ready meals, bottled sauces and cakes & crap bought by the couple next to me. :'(
    Agreed. Its time we admitted that we need to try and have a price rebalancing, by making healthy food the cheaper option


    (Original post by Philbert)
    The problem with taxing anything is that some people will still buy it no matter how much it costs.
    Some people will continue to buy it. But remember, not all people living off junk food do it because they are greedy. Many of them do it because they have no choice, as they are poor and junk food is by far the cheapest option. When we reduce the price of healthy food, these people will have a choice.

    Also, the number of cigarettes smoked in the UK has almost halved since 1990- part of that is due to price increases
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    Which party would be interested in writing a bill for this if it gets passed?
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    Some people will continue to buy it. But remember, not all people living off junk food do it because they are greedy. Many of them do it because they have no choice, as they are poor and junk food is by far the cheapest option. When we reduce the price of healthy food, these people will have a choice.
    Buying fresh meat, fruit and veg and making meals from scratch is very often cheaper than getting takeaways, but it takes time and can be inconvenient for busy people. You can make some meals quickly using cheap ingredients that are much cheaper than just buying a takeaway Most people already have a choice.
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    You can't force people to do anything. The only one who should care about how much you weigh is YOURSELF. The government should not tell people how much they should exercise. Raising prices won't help the problem either as we have seen with Tobacco and Alcohol.

    Seriously. You can't force people to do anything they don't want to do. If you do, it ends up with consequences.

    And on a side note, I exercise regularly, eat responsibly and am generally healthy. Why should I pay more for the occasional treat?
    This ^
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    (Original post by Philbert)
    Buying fresh meat, fruit and veg and making meals from scratch is very often cheaper than getting takeaways, but it takes time and can be inconvenient for busy people. You can make some meals quickly using cheap ingredients that are much cheaper than just buying a takeaway Most people already have a choice.
    There is a reason why people on poorer incomes usually don't have enough time to cook- and its not because they are all lazy. There are a lot of jobs with inconvenient working hours (i.e. having to work during dinner time), and many people don't even have the equipment to cook properly. So no, a lot of people don't have a real choice regarding what they eat.
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    There is a reason why people on poorer incomes usually don't have enough time to cook- and its not because they are all lazy. There are a lot of jobs with inconvenient working hours (i.e. having to work during dinner time), and many people don't even have the equipment to cook properly. So no, a lot of people don't have a real choice regarding what they eat.
    Will you stop making out that I'm calling poorer people greedy and lazy? I said in my last post quite clearly that preparing healthy meals can be inconvenient for busy people. You're repeating exactly what I said in my first post.

    If what you're saying is true, how will reducing the price of fruit and veg and introducing fat tax make a difference to peoples' diets? You argued that people will buy healthier food if it's cheaper, but now you're saying they don't have time. It won't give them more time to shop and prepare meals, so they still may not be able to choose the cheaper, healthier options. You're contradicting yourself. This is why I'm saying that it may not necessarily work for everyone.
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    (Original post by Philbert)
    Will you stop making out that I'm calling poorer people greedy and lazy?
    Apologies. That wasn't meant to be aimed at you personally, but at people more generally (as there are some people who, probably subconsciously, often assume that poverty and ill health is caused almost entirely by the individual).

    (Original post by Philbert)
    You argued that people will buy healthier food if it's cheaper, but now you're saying they don't have time.
    I said that they don't have the time to buy the currently cheap raw ingredients and make meals out of it (as you had previously said that most people have a choice, as they can buy cheap but healthy raw ingredients and prepare them). But not all healthy food takes a lot of time to prepare. I never said that healthy food takes too much time; its only the specific method you suggested was already available, buying raw ingredients, which takes too long
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    I never said that healthy food takes too much time; its only the specific method you suggested was already available, buying raw ingredients, which takes too long
    So what healthy foods should people be buying and eating/preparing if not raw meat, veg and fruit? What healthy meals are there, realistically, that you don't have to cook from scratch?

    I find it hard to believe that the vast majority of people don't have half an hour to prepare a simple meal for themselves and their families when they get home from work (or before, if they work nights), no matter how tired they may be or how much they'd rather get a takeaway or heat up a microwave meal for convenience.
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    (Original post by Philbert)
    So what healthy foods should people be buying and eating/preparing if not raw meat, veg and fruit? What healthy meals are there, realistically, that you don't have to cook from scratch?
    There are many healthy foods which are sold in a "ready to eat" way. For example, in spain you can buy a pre-prepared fruit snack (/light meal for some), which contains six different types of fruit (and a plastic fork as well). However, while I have seen this type of "meal" (I'd say its about halfway between a meal and a snack) in British shops, it was always relatively expensive. Healthy food does not neccesarily have to be cooked from scratch
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    There are many healthy foods which are sold in a "ready to eat" way. For example, in spain you can buy a pre-prepared fruit snack (/light meal for some), which contains six different types of fruit (and a plastic fork as well). However, while I have seen this type of "meal" (I'd say its about halfway between a meal and a snack) in British shops, it was always relatively expensive. Healthy food does not neccesarily have to be cooked from scratch
    That's great, but what about actual meals? Yes you can buy cut and prepared fruit and veg, and yes they can be expensive, but what healthy lunch and dinner options are there that you don't have to prepare from scratch or cook at all? Ignore the prices and suggest some healthy meal options for busy people. It sounds like you don't know and are just bull****ing.
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    (Original post by Philbert)
    It sounds like you don't know and are just bull****ing.
    Fine, I have admit something...
    I'm not a world food expert. I'm not even good at cooking. And I certainly don't know everything about different types of meals, and the pros or cons of each.

    To be honest, I think that the arguments about time availabilty, etc (including my ones) went off track. What I am mainly basing this peition on is common sense. Common sense, which dictates that if there are two alternatives, A (healthy food) and B (unhealthy), then raising the price of B while at the same time lowering the price of A will lead to a relative increase in the consumption of A (especially as the consumers have limited budgets, and for most people money is a deciding factor).
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    100 pounds per year won't get you far in pretty much any gym....
Updated: April 14, 2012
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