Nobody would dream of eating 14 teaspoons of sugar in a go. So why do we drink a 500ml bottle of Pepsi instead? When drinking a 'soft' drink which is heavy with sugar, chemicals and additives we seem to forget the amount of crap that we're pouring into our bodies. I doubt that any sane person would choose to eat the ingredients individually. Isn't it time we wise up and started thinking of the long term consequences? The phrase "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" might be relevant for some, but we should be worrying about what soft drinks are doing to our insides. After all excessive consumption can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
I understand that some of you will always hold a grudge against Jamie Oliver due to the fact that he was the man that got rid of Turkey Dinosaurs for school dinners, but he is serious about children's nutrition which is more that can be said for some parents. But when looking at the prices of healthy products, can you blame parents for going for the cheaper and unhealthier alternatives particularly at a time when money is extremely tight?
Why would you spend £3.50 on a 1.75l carton of Tropicana (which is arguably healthier than its carbonated competitors) when you can buy a 1.75l bottle of Coca-Cola for half the price? It is the same with snack foods. Why spend £2 on a pot of Pineapple and Mango when you can get a big bar of Galaxy for just £1?
If a sugar tax, which is something that Jamie Oliver is proposing, was put in place then I feel that I would change my current spending habits. I know that unhealthy food is bad for me, but the cheaper prices make me want to buy the product. But then again, at just 20% I doubt that it would have a substantial effect on the wider public. Food isn't something which should be made criminal, but we all have to start thinking of the long term effects. A sugar tax might work in the short run, but in the long run consumers will soon to start to forget about the increase in price and go back to their old ways.
The wider public would be more likely to benefit if Jeremy Hunt invested in access to exercise for all, but particularly lower income families. Gym memberships are extortionate, and sporting activities can often feel exclusive rather than inclusive. The Olympic Games were supposed to leave a lasting legacy, yet the next generation of sporting heroes aren't being thought of. If the government focused on its electorate as much as it did on a Saudi Arabian prison deal, then maybe our health would be in less of a state than it already is.
This isn't about shaming those who like a packet of sweets now and again. This isn't an issue related to body image either. We should be shaming the food industry who are willing to present their products as healthier than they actually are. Sugar is and will always be a treat, just like a glass of wine or the occasional cigarette but when there are equally bad effects on the health then surely its time that we call a cut on the amount that we consume. It may taste sweet initially, but the long term effects which aren't being showed to us should make you feel bitter.