Food Police Seek Golden Trough

Deborah Coddington has slammed academic activists who are running amok in the media telling us what to eat.

Troughers are all the same. Doesn’t matter if they’re anti-tobacco, anti-booze or the trendy new anti-bigfood. All are desperate to stay in the golden taxpayer funded trough.

While Super Trougher Boyd Swinburn is well out in front in the troughing stakes, many academic troughers are keen to follow his lead. One example is Otago Uni’s Gabrielle Jenkin who bangs on about Big Food being the new Big Tobacco.

Gabrielle Jenkin, Wellington health specialist, says Big Food is “more powerful” and will be “more aggressive than Big Tobacco” when cornered. Politicians are “cowed by Big Food” and New Zealand is “appalling, we’re sniffing KFC wherever we go”.

The more media they get, the more funding they seek. Whether it’s from the Lottery Grants Board or undisclosed funding from the University of Otago’s Activist’s Research Grant, rest ashore Gabrielle Jenkin is deep in the trough.

With a PHD thesis called “Individuals, the environment or inequalities? Industry and public health framing of obesity and its presence in New Zealand government policy on food nutrition’ and current projects looking at internet junk food marketing, her utterances are all going to be predictably anti industry. 

No such things as personal responsibility in obesity. No, much easier for Gabrielle Jenkin to blame Big Food and Big Sugar.  Here’s her recommendations.

BATTLE PLAN

Gabrielle Jenkin’s advice to New Zealand’s policymakers:

Ban advertising and marketing of unhealthy food.

Improve food labelling, ideally with a “traffic light” system.

Change planning policy so unhealthy food outlets are unable to set up near schools.

Outlet numbers should be restricted by population size.

Restrict unhealthy food in public institutions such as schools.

Install more public water fountains.

Make unhealthy food unaffordable, either by taxation or by subsidising healthy food.

Force “Big Food” to reduce salt, fat and sugar in products.

Restrict portion sizes, as New York tried with soft drink in 2013.

As Deborah Coddington says “we know junk food is bad for us but something we like to eat it anyway”.

If we want to sensibly attack obesity and tax is the answer then introduce a fat bastard tax and tax the fat bastard not the food.


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