Fat tax

Public Health Activists Playing #Dirtypolitics [UPDATED]

Well, well, well, looks like all the crying from academic activists in the field of public health is just a big fat smokescreen.

They just don’t like anyone taking a look at what they’re really up to.

WOBH has highlighted over the years various troughers gouging the public just so they can travel the world to fancy conferences. It started with tobacco troughers, but has quickly spread to troughers looking at alcohol restrictions and obesity/fat taxes.

Now we see the real agenda of the public health activists. Global taxes on products they don’t like.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has an alarming blog UN Health Conference Bans Media Day After Kicking out Public and Then Passes Massive Global Tobacco Tax in Secret.

After booting the public from its meetings on Monday, the World Health Organization’s tobacco control convention ramped up its assault on transparency on Tuesday when the press was also banned from the Moscow conference.

Shortly after the media was removed from the convention, the United Nations’ health agency secretly passed the world’s first ever global tax – an outrageous scheme requiring nearly 180 countries to apply a minimum tax on tobacco products.

All indications were that the global tobacco tax would not pass until Thursday or Friday, if at all. Without the public and the media there to watch, delegates ratified the tax almost immediately.

When I, and a handful of other accredited journalists, showed up for a Tuesday morning press briefing, we were told that the briefing was cancelled and the press was no longer allowed to attend any convention events at all.

The rest of the convention, which cost world taxpayers nearly $20 million, will now take place in secret, behind closed doors. It’s a chilling and disturbing attack on the freedom of the press – especially given the impact decisions made at the convention will have on people throughout the world.

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The majority of NZs want to pay more for their food? Really?

The NZ Herald has a poll result today where the headline claims that Kiwi want a ‘fat tax’.

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Except that was not was originally asked in the poll.

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The question is rather clumsy. Imagine the result if they had asked “Do you think it is a good idea to tax ALL Kiwis with a sugar tax, increasing food and drink prices across the board, when it is only fat bastards who should be taxed?”.  Read more »

The insanity of sugar and fat taxes

Katherine Rich pushes back against the health nazis who want to put a tax on sugar and fat.

Sugar taxes will extract more money from citizens’ wallets for governments but do nothing to curb obesity.

While sugar is seen by some as the current food demon, it’s important to dial back the hysteria for a fact-based discussion.

Sugars are an important part of people’s diets, providing energy for the body and brain. Over the past decade, sucrose consumption in New Zealand has declined, and reports suggest most people consume at moderate levels.

All this while obesity has been rising. The remaining part of the energy-in, energy-out equation is physical activity, but anti-sugar activists prefer to blame food companies.

The food companies just sit there like stunned mullets as their customers and products are demonised. They thought that it would never happen to them if only they just kept quiet while tobacco companies were bashed.

They were wrong.

The inconvenient truth for those wanting to scapegoat full-sugar carbonated drinks – fizzy – is that there has been a dramatic drop in sales in the past 15 years as consumers turn to the growing array of zero calorie and diet fizz options now available.

With Kiwis eating less sugar and drinking less sugary fizz at a time of rising obesity levels, it’s nonsense to pretend fizz taxes are going to magic away the obesity problem.

So long as the health nazis promote the food pyramid that is heavy on carbohydrates and low on proteins then we will continue to get fatter, especially if we don;t exercise to burn those calorie loadings. Taxing sugars and fats won’t work.    Read more »

Charge the parents, don’t tax the drinks

I have long held the position that it is fat bastards who should pay for their health concerns as a result of their poor self control. Introduce a Fat bastard Tax not what the health busybodies want which is a tax on all products containing sugar or fat…or whatever ingredient they will hate on next.

In the case of children then tax the parents who let their kids become fat bastards.

Christina Odone blogs at The Telegraph:

“What do we hate? The Nanny state!” might be a suitable marching song for conservatives — until, that is, children’s well-being is compromised. When parents abuse their role as their child’s protectors the state is right to intervene. Which is why the couple in Norfolk, arrested for allowing their son’s weight to reach 15 stone, should face court.

Imagine parents who regularly gave their son heroin; or a bottle of vodka. Anyone observing such behaviour would instinctively call the police to save the child. The same now has to be true of a child whose parents are feeding him too many of the wrong things. We now know that food — junk food, fatty food, sugar, additives – can prove as damaging to a child’s health as heroin or alcohol. Indeed, sugar is so toxic that experts claim it is as bad as tobacco: it leads not only to obesity, but to diabetes too.

Parents who ignore these facts and ply their children with excess food (or just really bad food) are abusing their children as clearly as those who let them take drugs. In the case of the couple in Norfolk, their son suffers from autism: he is all the more at the mercy of his parents’ care. They defend his weight by claiming that it is down to bad genes. Wrong: it’s down to the parents.

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Plain packaging call for Coca-Cola now in NZ

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I have spoken many times about this, directly to producers and suppliers as well. I have told them that even though they hate tobacco and tobacco companies, they need to join in the fight against plain packaging because if they don’t they will be next.

Things are moving pretty fast on them now…and there are calls for plain packaging on products containing sugar now. This shows how emboldened the health jihadists have become and they believe that despite the legislation still before the house they can and will start lobbying against “Big Sugar”.

An unflattering report into the soaring rate of obesity around the world has sparked debate over whether sugary foods should have plain packaging in New Zealand.

The report, which analysed data from 188 countries, revealed that the proportion of men classified as obese in this country has increased more than anywhere else – rising from 13% to 28% between 1980 and 2013.

The overall proportion of New Zealand adults considered overweight or obese rose from 50% to 66% – an estimated 2.2 million people, including 960,000 who were obese.

The statistics have sparked debate on whether plain packaging for sugary food products should be introduced, like that being argued for tobacco products.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast, Auckland University marketing expert Dr Mike Lee says plain packaging for sugary drinks could come into play over the next ten years.

The proposal for plain packaging for tobacco products has caused an uproar with concerns it could spill over into fast food and alcohol products, says Mr Lee.

“There is the worry from companies that we are going to become more and more of a nanny state,” he told the programme.

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Tobacco tactics now being used in debate over sugar

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As I predicted the same tactics used against tobacco interests are now being deployed the food industry and the use of sugar.

And now it has come to pass.

It is the same tactics of demonisation, glib negative tags, and a lack of evidence to support their beliefs. It is highly political and worse it is taxpayer funding political lobbying.

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the taxpayer funded political advocacy by a group of academics featured on TV3’s The Nation this weekend. Their efforts to promote a sugar tax appear to be politically motivated rather than based on science. Sugar and similar fat taxes around the world have failed to curb obesity and have turned into revenue gathering tools.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Denmark’s tax on saturated fat introduced in 2011 was an economic disaster. The Danish tax was abandoned 15 months later and did little, if anything, to reduce harmful consumption. Worse, it was estimated to have cost 1,300 jobs. Why would New Zealand want to repeat this mistake?”

“Taxing the Kiwi tradition of a warm pie and can of cola won’t reduce obesity. The overseas experience tells us that it just leads to compensatory purchasing and brand switching.”

In the item, Dr Gerhard Sundborn stated that fizzy drinks have similarities to tobacco.   Read more »

Lord Tebbit reveals the dirty little secret of the cause of obesity

Lord Tebbit has let the cat out of the bag on why there is an ‘obesity epidemic’.

Predictably there is outrage that a politician could speak with such truth and clarity.

Lord Tebbit says fat people have only themselves to blame for their obesity if they insist on ‘stuffing themselves silly’.

The former Tory chairman said people’s ‘stupid actions’ in eating ‘rubbish’ foods all day was behind the rise in obesity.

He was cheered in the House of Lords when he told peers that rather than setting up government initiatives to persuade  people to eat more healthily, ministers should simply tell them that weight is a matter of individual responsibility.  Read more »

Why not simply outlaw obesity?

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Off to jail with you…fatty boomsticks

With all this talk by Boyd Swinburn about controlling obesity via fat taxes and sugar taxes and other methods lifted from the anti-tobacco industry he seems to have overlooked the obvious…why not simply make obesity illegal.

It is funny then in the debate over cannabis legalisation we find a solution to the obesity problem…ban fatness.

But why go after marijuana for its second-order effects? Why not just ban stupidity, laziness, obesity, unambitious taste, or whatever social ills are of concern to national opinion columnists? As Brooks asks, “Laws profoundly mould culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture?” If the answer is “one where people are thin,” the obvious answer is to ban fatness.

Fat is an ideal menace to be targeted with a criminal law. To some extent, it’s a subjective matter who is lazy or stupid, but it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s guilty of being fat. A law against fat would scare people into losing weight. Even independent of actual legal penalties, it would set a strong norm, showing that society is opposed to fatness and wants people to stay at healthy weights. It would lead to improved cardiovascular health, higher labour productivity (fewer sick days!), and longer life expectancy.   Read more »

Obesity ‘experts’ ignore simple truths

The Herald, in its usual tell only half the story trick, has an article ‘Race to stop us eating our way to early death’.

It’s a puff piece for trougher Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu (pictured on left below) who is now tucking into $5 million of taxpayer dosh to get to the bottom of why Kiwis are getting fatter.

There will be the usual calls for fat taxes, labelling changes, blah blah blah.

What would have been more useful for its diminishing readership would have been a really simple message – Eat Less Crap Lose that Fat.

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Man loses 16kg and lowers his cholesterol by a third after eating only McDonald’s for three months

That’s the sort of diet Pete should try out. I hear he’s a Maccas addict.

Contrary to popular belief, following a diet of exclusively fast food does not necessarily lead to weight gain, as one man recently discovered.

John Cisna, a high school biology teacher from Ankeny, Iowa, told KCCI that he documented the changes his body underwent throughout the three months that he ate nothing but McDonald’s – with very surprising results.

Rather than his body deteriorating like the star of 2004 documentary Super Size Me, Mr Cisna lost an impressive 37lbs and saw his cholesterol drop from 249 to 170, improving his health significantly

How did he do it?   Read more »