THE BLOG

A Simple Solution to the UK's Obesity Problem - 'Tax the Fat'

20/08/2014 14:59 BST | Updated 19/10/2014 10:59 BST

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It's predicted that almost half of the UK population could be obese by 2040, and that the total cost of this problem could reach £50 billion a year.

As a therapist that specialises in weight loss, I've heard more excuses why people can't lose weight than a secondary school teacher asking for homework. Everything from I'm allergic to healthy food, to fruit and vegetables make me fat - and the finger seems to be always pointing at everyone else...

We've never been in such a fortunate age where information on health, fitness and nutrition is so readily available, so why is obesity in the UK growing faster than ever before and expected to cost a whopping 50 billion within the next 30 years.

Are we going to look back at the adverts of today, like cigarette commercials and be ashamed that we didn't take action sooner?

My theory; the information is too complicated to follow, from five-per-day to ten-per-day, from paleo to rapid weight shakes diets...healthy eating is over complicated when it doesn't need to be. This being said, simplifying the message isn't the answer; the solution is much simpler. Motivate those struggling to make better choices by taxing foods with higher levels of saturated fats than those without; guiding those most affected to make better choices based on budget and affordability. Offer lower taxes (reduce the cost) for foods that support a healthier lifestyle.

Declaring high levels of fat on packaging doesn't work - visit your supermarket and look in the baskets of shoppers, you'll understand why!

It's no different to the taxation classes of our Road Fund Licences, being taxed for the impact of the emissions on the environment, motivating those to make vehicle choices based on running cost and budget.

When logic is applied, it doesn't make sense that our National Health Service should face potential bankruptcy because of the affordability of the healthier food choices (I'm not blaming people, just choices)? With this new taxation system the government could resolve obesity by allowing those who still want to consume foods high in saturated fats to do so, without jeopardising the future health care for those choosing to benefit from a healthier lifestyle.

Narrow-minded, single viewed perhaps; but I've seen first-hand the upset, distress and horrific effects that weight related illnesses have on whole families. Obesity isn't just about those suffering but affects everyone around...half the nation expected to be obese by 2050, something needs to be done today...

Sure there are many conspiracy's and accusations about the medical / food industry working hand in hand, and I'm sure there's some truth behind it, but ultimately the choice to consume the food always lays with the consumer - there's no forcing hand when it comes to adding the food to a fork and placing it to your mouth.

We can place blame on people, food manufacturers, suppliers...but realistically there isn't anyone to point the finger at; there are just choices, the choices to live a life restricted by obesity or the choice not, all of which ultimately fall on the consumer - but with education clearly not working, it's time for the government to stand up and take some control over the nations very realistic obesity problem before its too late.

If you're struggling with weight loss, then we run weekly hypnotherapy clinics in London, offering support and guidance on "realistic" and long terms ways to best culture your lifestyle into something that will support healthy living.

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