|POP: Doctors want fizzy, sugary drinks to be taxed it has been revealed today.|
According to reports this morning, there are plans being discussed regarding adding a tax on fizzy and sugary drinks in order to put people off of buying them. Experts believe that if this tax is applied, people who consume these drinks on a regular basis (and probably drink far too many of them) will be put off of buying so many or even buying them all together.
I have to say that I disagree completely.
This is the totally wrong way to go about things, look at smokers for example: If they enjoy their habit and have no intention of giving up then they will pay whatever price their favourite brand is marked up as even if it is extortionate (which cigarettes are today). It isn't just a habit it is an addiction and sugar is just as much a serious addiction as cigarettes or alcohol. Someone who drinks an excessive amount of sugary, fizzy drinks to the point it is affecting their weight and health is addicted and perhaps even naive as to what exactly is in their drink or how much sugar they are consuming. It is known that a lot of people do not count drinks when they are counting calories and so are then dumbfounded when they find they have either put on weight or that they can't lose it.
What is needed is education.
Sugar is addictive and it is quite a serious addiction. Some health experts actually want it to be classed as dangerous as smoking or alcohol and marked up with warnings in the same way because of the nature people can become addicted to it and because of the affects it has on your health. Aside from obesity, it can clog up your arteries, cause heart problems, stomach problems, it can also cause type 2 diabetes to name a few long term side affects all of which can lead to a premature death if not dealt with properly. We shouldn't be taxing people and assuming they will simply cut down because of an extra 20p being added. This isn't about people walking into a shop and choosing a drink simply for refreshment this is about people needing that sugary high because it has become a part of their life and they need that hit. Without it they will feel all sorts of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and dizziness, sadly this goes way beyond adding on a tax and thinking the problem will go away.
People need to be taught from a young age about moderation and what is good for you and what is not, what is a nice treat to enjoy on occasion and what is essential in your daily life to be healthy. Some people reading this may be scoffing and thinking that it is simple but to some it isn't. Some people are brought up with an unhealthy diet or attitude to food and drink. Some people never have home cooked dinners growing up and some people honestly don't realise that foods such as McDonalds and takeaways should only be eaten as a treat now and then and not every week. Some people don't even realise that microwave or oven ready meals are bad for you.
When I was young, we went to Burger King once in a blue moon for a treat and there were hardly ever fizzy drinks in the house, the drink of choice was squash or water. If there were a pack of coca cola in the fridge it was so SO rare to the point I thought our fridge was 'uncool' because all my other friends fridges always had fizzy drinks in them. When I think about it though, they were never my first go - to drink. I would go through phases of drinking them more often than not (one occasion was when PEPSI were running a competition where you collected a certain amount of ring pulls, sent them off in return for a rare Spice Girls CD... I still have the CD to this day!) All in all though I always found I wanted refreshing drinks rather than fizz and even now as an adult I have to be in the mood for a fizzy drink. At a restaurant I normally order water and I can never drink full fat sugary drinks because they make my teeth feel furry and are just too sweet!
This is all because of how I was brought up and what I was brought up eating and drinking. Maybe in todays schools if childhood obesity is becoming such a problem then children need to be educated on what is good for them from a young age so they know more about the affects of a poor diet. Sadly, it seems not all parents are doing it.
So rather than once again squeezing a bit more money out of consumers, health experts and more so, the government should sit up and take real action to solve this problem because it is only going to get worse, tax or no tax.