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Fat Tax Today - Fat Police Tomorrow?

24 August 2004

Fat Tax Today - Fat Police Tomorrow?

New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says that specifically targeted campaigns to encourage healthy eating and regular exercise would be more useful than trying to impose an across the board “fat tax” to curb obesity.

This follows the release of a report by Diabetes New Zealand and Fight the Obesity Epidemic suggesting that a tax on fatty foods and soft drinks was both viable and justified and the only way to reduce obesity-related conditions such as diabetes.

“A tax on unhealthy foods would be difficult to enforce – one person’s unhealthy food is someone else’s gourmet delight and cultural differences would also have to be taken into account,” said Mrs Stewart.

“The most logical way to reduce the number of obesity-related conditions is to increase our knowledge of the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

“The nationwide ‘Push Play’ campaign developed a greater awareness of the importance of good nutrition and physical activity and this is the sort of message we need to continue promoting.

“We are all eventually responsible for what we eat and the best way to help people make the right choices is to educate them,” said Mrs Stewart.


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