The Doug Sellman’s and Boyd Swinburn’s of this world want sugar taxes, bans on fast food and labelling of what they call “unhealthy” products.
The main problem, apart from their control freak nature, is that they don’t work in combatting obesity.
The evidence is there for all to see.
The national discourse about health and obesity has never been a particularly cordial conversation.
In 2008, it hit a tendentious peak when a ban on new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles brought the term “food apartheid” to the table. The ordinance, which was implemented in a part of the city that is both disproportionately poor and obese, came as a response to the idea that there are two different systems for accessing food in Los Angeles, one with more limited options in an economically depressed part of the city that is predominantly black and Latino, and the other with more variety in more affluent neighborhoods.
Ban this, block that…no bottle stores near schools, stop fast food joints opening up…never is there a though about personal choice in the matter. Sugar taxes and bans and plain packaging will work they tell us.
[T]he South Los Angeles ban was unprecedented in that it was the first to connect a policy to the obesity epidemic. The ordinance didn’t shutter existing restaurants, but it did block construction of new stand-alone fast-food restaurants in an area with 700,000 residents. (That’s a population that, if separated from the rest of Los Angeles, would still make one of the U.S.’s 20 largest cities.) The effort also dovetailed with an initiative to encourage supermarkets and stores with presumably healthier fare to move in.