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Obesity petition

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    And what if sat fats aren't actually bad for you?
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    (Original post by paddy__power)
    100 pounds per year won't get you far in pretty much any gym....
    While 100 pounds per year won't be enough for people who already go to the gym or sports centre incredibly often, they are not the people this policy is aimed at; we're targeting people who either never go or go rarely. For them, 100 pounds could be enough to encourage them to start going (and the long term aim is that people will get into the habit of doing more exercise)
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    While 100 pounds per year won't be enough for people who already go to the gym or sports centre incredibly often, they are not the people this policy is aimed at; we're targeting people who either never go or go rarely. For them, 100 pounds could be enough to encourage them to start going (and the long term aim is that people will get into the habit of doing more exercise)
    If you want them to go then make deals with gym chains en masse and give people free gym memberships on the proviso they prove they are using them.
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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?
    I couldn't agree with this more.
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    Nope, this rings of a nanny state...
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    No because of what MacCuishy said.
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    (Original post by stanlas)
    Concerned by the growing number of obese people (almost a quarter of all adults in 2009) in the UK and on its potential impact on the NHS (it already costs the NHS over a billion pounds a year), this petition would try to tackle the problem by:

    1) Increasing VAT on all foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat by five percentage point (inspired by measures recently introduced in Denmark) to reduce unhealthy consumption patterns

    2) Following the recommendations of the October 2008 'Models of Nutrient Demand, Tax Policy & Public Health Impact' Report by using the money raised from part 1 to subsidise fruit and vegetables (therefore allowing poorer people to eat more heathily)

    3) Encouraging higher levels of participation in sport and exercise by giving every person who has an income of under 30,000 pounds (roughly three quarters of the working population), is unemployed or is still in training and education free 'sport vouchers,' which can be used to pay for access to anygyms or sport-related activites (such as dance classes) in the UK (the vouchers will each have a maximum value of 100 pounds per year)
    Completely agree, the UK has an obesity problem however...

    A special VAT for these foods won't make people stop, look at smokers and alcoholics... do they stop because of the price?

    Catch-22, great idea but the VAT shouldn't be used to make fatty foods unattractive, these people have eaten these foods for years and become addicted. I do like the idea but another way to pay for it should be found.

    Love it... hell raise it to £60,000 and offer free gym membership... maybe the UK will get women that look more like THIS :drool: :sexface: than this :puke:
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    What you're suggesting (increasing taxes to deter purchasing) does not work. I know the Government like to say they're increasing taxes on alcohol to reduce the strain on the NHS, and to encourage us to drink less - they're actually doing it to make more money. Alcohol practically comes out the taps in France and they have nowhere near as bad a drinking problem as the UK does.

    I generally detest these kind of ideas, because we've become such a nanny state already, however in principle your idea is good (especially parts 1 and 2) but in practice, it doesn't work. Also, the government tend not to subsidise one thing after increasing tax on something else, they'll just do the latter.
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    Freddos are already expensive enough!
    You can't, and shouldn't, try to influence behavior through the arm of government. It is an example of when the government oversteps its bounds.
    If someone wants to eat fatty foods then that's their right. I would fear for my every move if I am living under a government which feels it can tell me how to eat. How long before they go even further and just ban the food completely? Where do they stop? Could they get drunk on their own sense of power? Start regulating anything with any slight potential of damage? Could they ban television because it discourages exercise? Video games? Ban crossing the road for fear of risk of being run over? Ban cars?
    It will never stop, unless you prevent it from ever even starting. If I eat a chocolate bar it doesn't harm anyone else. Sure, it can lead to my health deteriorating but that is irrelevant, everything can have that effect. The actual consumption and purchase of a fatty food is victimless, except for myself. So the government can go to hell and not try to tell me what to do.

    It's just the nanny state gone mad type issue. If given the choice between liberty and security, I would choose liberty. And I would never change that decision.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Alcohol practically comes out the taps in France and they have nowhere near as bad a drinking problem as the UK does.
    Actually we do, if not worse... it is just we are a different calibre :smug:
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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.
    Is that really true though? I wouldn't dispute the fact that a lot of people work very inconvenient hours, but cooking really isn't that hard. You don't have to Heston Blumenthal to knock up a cheap and healthy meal in a few minutes, and using just a pan and the hob. I'm not a great cook myself, but if you find a decent recipe book, there will be loads of things in there that tick all the boxes.

    As a general point, I'm not sure that the price of fresh vegetables is what's putting people off. You can get large amounts of most vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes (I know they're a fruit) etc.) for less than the cost of a McDonald's fries. The problem is, I think, not necessarily that people are lazy; more that people doubt their ability to cook quickly and easily. I've always thought that food technology was a bit of a pointless subject, but if it can show people that cooking is easy, and get them eating healthily, then get teaching!
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    (Original post by paddy__power)
    If you want them to go then make deals with gym chains en masse and give people free gym memberships on the proviso they prove they are using them.
    Pruhealth was awesome.

    I used to go to a Nuffield for free as long as I went three or more times a week.

    Only paid the Pru health insurance premium of £5 odd a month.

    Policy changed and price went from £5 to pru and £50 + to Nuffield but it was good while it lasted (2 + years).

    Really good deal as could get private health checks etc etc, many perks to it.
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    Yep.
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    I don't support this though i am not totally opposed.

    1) I do not like taxes
    2) I don't like subsidies

    I will either abstain or vote no.
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    Rather than punishing people for eating unhealthy food by introducing this tax, it would be more sensible for rewarding people for becoming healthier. Introduce a reward system for people where the more weight they lose, the larger the reward becomes. E.g. for every kilogram lost, you receive a £1 gift voucher at a retailer (not supermarkets though). If an obese person loses 10 kilograms, they'll receive £10. Also this should be only available to people who are classified as clinically obese and all the weight checking has to be carried out by a GP. This is just a rough idea of the approach the government should take, rather than punishing you for an unhealthy lifestyle. The beauty of this system is that it does not affect people who are leading a sensible and healthy lifestyle.
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    Alot of it is education, poor education of food laziness of it is easy to put a pizza in the oven than it is to make something

    What doesn't help is when they are closing down sport centres, I will take my local gym, only real place for local people to use unless you drive, ran by the council so it is cheaper for unemployed, young and old as well as working people, yet it is being closed leaving local people with either a hour bus ride to a already busy gym or 10-15min tube ride to another gym that is going to be closed

    These nothing wrong with these gyms, in fact they are being used by the Olympic, but after the games they are being closed, they cost like £1million a year to run, membership brings in near that amount on to off people paying extra to use the swimming pools, you think they could fund sport and fitness

    Thats not forgetting the football 5 a side pitches (not owned by the council) that are being knocking down and houses built on top, where do kids and people go to keep fit?
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    So, this 'sport voucher' idea:

    Obviously, bought en masse, the government would probably be able to get £100 of voucher for £40. But that's giving £40 to 3/4 of the people in the UK. The UK population is about 65 million. Three quarters of that is 48.75 million. Giving them £40 each would could £1.95bn. This is more than the NHS currently spends on treating obesity, and will largely go to waste, as overweight people will use them at a swimming pool, do 5 lengths each time they go, think they've done the Olympic Heptathlon, wonder why they aren't losing weight, and stop going.

    Waste of money.
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    (Original post by tufc)
    So, this 'sport voucher' idea:

    Obviously, bought en masse, the government would probably be able to get £100 of voucher for £40. But that's giving £40 to 3/4 of the people in the UK. The UK population is about 65 million. Three quarters of that is 48.75 million. Giving them £40 each would could £1.95bn. This is more than the NHS currently spends on treating obesity, and will largely go to waste, as overweight people will use them at a swimming pool, do 5 lengths each time they go, think they've done the Olympic Heptathlon, wonder why they aren't losing weight, and stop going.

    Waste of money.

    I'm with you on this one... Unfortunately I wish it weren't true... But, I actually agree with you.
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    Don't be silly. Definite nay from me.
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    The problem with this is that a lot of cheap foods would be affected by the increase in VAT effectively making this somewhat a tax on the poor. Although part 2 would go some way to quell that worry.

    Undecided.
Updated: April 14, 2012
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