Who wants a sugar tax? Doctors

- October 23rd, 2012

Doctors aren’t crazy about politicians telling them how to do their jobs so politicians should be just as wary of doctors trying to do theirs.

The Ontario Medical Association has come out with a list of recommendations to fight childhood obesity and it includes taxes, bans and graphic warning labels.

  •  Increasing taxes on junk food and decreasing tax on healthy foods;
  •  Restricting marketing of fatty and sugary foods to children;
  • Placement of graphic warning labels on pop and other high calorie foods with little to no nutritional value;
  • Retail displays of high-sugar, high-fat foods to have information prominently placed advising consumer of the health risks; and
  •  Restricting the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities that are frequented by young people.

 

My response is simple, kiss my….

Is childhood obesity a problem? Yes. Is it the huge issue that must result the list of demands above being implemented? No.

Are there other solutions that begin at home? Yes.

I am the father of four kids. They all eat healthy and making sure they do is the responsibility of myself and their mother. I do not need the nanny state to watch what they eat, restrict what they can buy and levy unaffordable taxes on what should be treats.

Quebec has long followed the idea of banning fast food advertising aimed at children but the chart below shows that they are only slightly lower than Ontario and also slightly higher than B.C. in terms of childhood obesity. Neither province has an ad ban for kids.

obesity young people by province

Research has shown the bans, including the one in Sweden, not to work or at least not be the cause of obesity rate changes, so why do this? It is about the need for experts to control you and your family.

To borrow a phrase from the 80s, just say no.

 

 

Categories: Politics

Subscribe to the post

11 comments

  1. Rich Clarke says:

    Sigh -

    Yes Mr. Lilley – we all know what a great father you are, and we’re all aware of how wonderful you are at creating a healthy environment for you kids. The problem is – and given the fact that you do create a good environment for your kids, you’re assuming a correlation between one’s upbringing and one’s lot in life, a position which contradicts your basic personal philosophy of personal responsibility something we can debate at a different time – not everyone has parents as good as your kids. I mean you’d be hard pressed to demonstrate there hasn’t been a deterioration in the quality of the average diet over the years.

    It’s easy to say the solution begins at home – but that’s a meaningless platitude. I mean you’ve made your point that the solution begins at home, but I’m willing to bet that your having stated the solution begins at home will have no effect on whether or not that solution is being implemented. I’ll check with stats Canada tomorrow to see if this piece you’ve had on where the solution begins is any more effective than warnings on packages. And yes, yes you’ve got your study – I’m sure you googled “Proof that graphic ads don’t work” to find it, but you don’t really know for sure that there is no effect. You can prove anything you want with the right google search terms – I mean if you search the scientific literature you can prove Carbon Dioxide has a warming effect on the Earth (of course the current down swing in the solar activity masks this long term effect temporarily). Ad companies spend billions of dollars trying to influence our purchases. Either they’re mistaken, in which case the private sector really isn’t efficient as you make it out to be when you criticize the public sector, or they’re correct. I’m betting on them being correct. Besides, I don’t find it that onerous to see a few words written on a package. Then again, I like to read. This visceral aversion you have to any sort of government initiative puts you slightly to the less reactionary side of Joe McCarthy.

    Another thing is the instant you insist on these silly little nick names you have for things, ‘nanny state’, ‘premier dad’, you give away your bias and frankly lower yourself to a childhood bully. It’s quite unprofessional. I normally don’t begin posts with ‘sigh’, but felt the tone of your piece demanded it. The thing is I behave like a childhood bully, only in response to a someone else doing it – and I’m a discussion board hack – you’re supposed to be a professional journalist.

    Finally, you may want to examine the history of Nancy Regean’s “Just say no” campaign and it’s efficacy before you start using it. Your readers may be unfamiliar with this 1980′s platitude – but not me.

  2. Raveen Bains says:

    Yes, I definitely agree that these recommendations are a good good idea especially the first one, increase taxes on junk food and decrease tax on healthy food or better yet eliminate tax on healthy food and shift the tax burden onto junk food. At the end, we all pay the price for unhealthy food consumption through healthcare costs and premature deaths related to obesity and diabetes.

  3. Alain says:

    Sigh – I see the first comment is from a typical statist believing the government must solve all problems and dictate what we eat, drink, think and how we live. I admit to being totally fed up with this rubbish, since it invariably leads to a totalitarian form of government. Basically if you do not like sugar or whatever, do not buy it or use it, but butt the hell out of our lives.

  4. Rich Clarke says:

    Alain – I read the line of your post and stopped. You being your post with a meaningless characterization, and I suspect you fail to address my argument.

    If you are interested in engaging in an honest debate, I am willing – but I will not engage in silly name calling, and my suspicion is you are unable to refrain from silly name calling.

    Prove me wrong, or I’ll be forced to call you Alan.

  5. Ron says:

    More progressive nonsense. Perhaps we should all wear helmets because it will reduce casual head injury?

    Doctors should be more transparent about how many people die from drug related complications. But wait, that would expose them to greater levels of malpractice, so we won’t be doing that.

  6. Stephen Smith says:

    Are there other solutions that begin at home? Yes.

    So since you don’t state alternatives I can only assume your basic strategy is to do nothing.

  7. John says:

    to Rich and Raveen

    Do what you want but I prefer to think for myself rather than let so called experts and people like yourselves do thinking for me.

    Free thought and human spirit has led to the greatest achievements of mankind, while governments dictating only crushes it.

    sorry I don’t want to live behind the iron curtain.

    Leave me alone!

  8. Rich Clarke says:

    Ron – your logic is bad. I’ve seen this logic used by gun nuts who say dumb things like “Cars kill people, like guns, so if we put controls on guns, we should put controls on guns”. This is a dumb argument, simply because whether or not you decide to put controls on things is not simply a function of whether or not those things cause deaths. It’s also a matter of how costly putting controls on things is. I can extend your argument and say, well if we’re not going to put helmets on everyone, even though it would reduce injuries, why do we insist on forcing people to drive on the same side of the road, even though that reduces injuries.

    The difference is the cost – there is a big cost in forcing people to wear helmets, and the reduction in head injuries is quite small. I don’t routinely wear a helmet around the house and I’ve never had a head injury that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. The cost associated with wearing a helmet around the house would be, in my case, 50 years of inconvenience. I’m willing to risk that 1 in a billion shot at getting a head injury in exchange for not having to put up with the inconvenience of wearing a helmet.

    Putting warning labels on packages???? There is some cost associated with that – it costs probably a few fractions of a cent to put the warnings on packages. It saves a few cents (if habits are changed), in health care costs. Good deal.

  9. Constantin says:

    Mr. Clarke! I would be very surprised by an argument denying a corelation between one’s upbringing and one’s “lot in life”. Bring it on! The choice of mocking Mr. Lilley’s parenting choices – particularly when simply described as a simple effort to provide healthier food and promote healhier habits (which we have good reason to believe is rather common), is not a basis for decent conversation and does not provide a moral superiority from which you could legitimately take issue with Alain’s concise and direct manner of expression. What you describe as Mr. Lilley’s “visceral aversion to any government initiative” is a genuine concern for a gradual loss of freedom and an effort to educate people such as yourself – who can read but prefer someone else (preferably the state) to do the reading for them and their children. What you fail to understand is that the state is all to eager to spare you the effort of reading labels, and also spare you of the effort of educating your children, and ultimately willing to help you to make the hard choice of whether to get up in the morning or remain in bed for the rest of the day. You do not even understand what bullying is. You say that using the terms “nanny state” or “premier dad” is a form of bullying. Who exactly is being bullied and how? If you aspire indeed to becoming a “discussion board hack” start using a dictionary and grasp the meaning of what is said before attempting to comment. Also, just like a cigar is sometimes just a cigar, “Just say no” simply means “just say no” without importing the meaning of some campaign in the past. Making improper such associations is anything but a sign of intelligence. If you happen to be still a teenager – which I suspect you are – pay more attention in school and read as much as you can. By the way, a “discussion board hack” is essentially a looser. There is hardly any reason to become one, unless you are on welfare and have no intention to make better use of your time.

  10. Alain says:

    I note the number of comments from people that there remain those who believe based on their comments that government is the answer to just about any problem. Having grown up in a different era, I know from experience that it does not work. I suppose when one assumes that people are too stupid to manage their own lives, that it is okay for their “betters” to engage in social engineering. Some individuals may not be able to manage their own life, but the majority of people are perfectly capable of doing so without the interference of government and busybodies. I wager that no one can honestly cite a case where government interference or involvement make the situation better rather than worse.

  11. Bill Elder says:

    Brian: You are right to be alarmed when any authority close to government or, or government itself decides to regulate the food supply (which is essentially what dictating diet using the club of state is). Ask Prof. Robinson about how food supply control/regulation has been used in the 20th century by governments to either control or oppress populations or manipulate them politically. In a couple of cases government use food as a weapon against their enemies – as in the Ukraine.

    Dictating taxes on food (itself a moral violation) using some nebulous “fat/sugar/salt” scale or dissuading food purchases with puerile negative package labeling, under the guise of “a war on obesity” may sound innocuous to many (particularly soft-headed government worshipping zombies) but it is a warning shot that the government feels it has a right to regulate your food supply and food intake – that is a historically dangerous concept.

    First, it signals they (ruling class elites) feel they are your moral and intellectual superiors and this gives them authority to intervene in your most personal choices. Second, it signals a willingness to shape society in their (elitists/plutocrats) image using any underhanded morally and ethically incorrect device available to them. How long will it take until food rationing on a political/ideological basis takes to come to fruition under such top-down authoritarian hubris? The historical record shows this always happens – just as historically civilian gun registration leads to confiscation and precedes a pogrom. Never forget the UN Agenda 21 directive for sustainability calls for government control/rationing of our food supply – a truly frightening prospect for those who are attuned to historic relevance.

    The silly regulation-obsessing government worshippers will dismiss these historic FACTS as paranoia or that “OUR” progressive government is too evolved to engage in such political oppression, but they ignore the lessons of history at their peril. If they wish to play Pollyanna walking in the dark so be it, just don’t expect me to go willingly into any potential government pogrom or sit quietly when I see one coming into being.

    BTW: Brian, I know you advocate free speech and to prove it you consistently allow these smarmy leftoid creeps to spew their snide innuendo in the comments but the one today on this thread was just so filled with pseudo-intellectual hubris, I had to shower after reading it. This was such a civil venue before these culture preists started remitting their statist mantras here.

Comments are closed.