Reaction to: Childhood obesity: a plan for action

Many thin people impose a rule to moderate their intake of unhealthy food. Such as only buying sweets once a week (one of my rules). Perhaps Government could help by restricting the times when confectionary is sold. i.e. confectionary is only available on a Friday.

It could be extended to say: You can have as much as you want, but you can’t impulse order sweet at a restaurant.  You have to declare you want pudding when you book the table. They want to ‘respect consumer choice’ but clearly this isn’t going to be resolve unless we can find acceptable ways to infringe on  consumer choice, because 3 decades of ‘information’ hasn’t worked.

The sugar tax is good. I just wish we had been more creative. A some point we have to realise that the obesity crisis is evidence that humans aren’t perfect decision making machines.

I was a fat person. I am now a thin person and you know what I would happily give up a few minor freedoms if it help a mum struggling to get her kids to eat correctly. If that meant minimum pricing on alcohol and only being able to get ben&Jerry’s on a Friday i’d be ok with that.

From twitter it is clear that some people blame the parents. The trouble  is that there are apparently more bad parents than ever before, or something else is driving up obesity. I would ask: Has any social problem ever been resolved by chanting ‘personal responsibility’ like some kind of magical incantation. It takes a village to rase a child. If there is nothing you are willing to give to help struggling families with fat kids, then that seems like a pretty heartless stance to me.

I credit the government with actually picking the lowest of low hanging fruit and taxing sugar but I think it would be pretty easy to do better: Ask successful dieters what they do that works and see which suggestions will scale.