Obesity

Obesity is growing in the UK at an alarming rate. Whereby those who should be protected are becoming the biggest victims of this epidemic. It is worrying that, children and the poorest in society are often the benefactors of inefficient diets that are promoted by the junk food sector.

Now the government has declared that £1 billion VAT accrued from junk food must be invested into the fight against obesity. It has been suggested that a fifth of the current VAT on fast food, confectionery, and sugary drinks should be invested into an "obesity action fund". 

The Problem

25% of adults in the UK are obese. This is a 10% increase from 1993. Furthermore it is esteemed that the NHS spends 10% of its annual budget tackling diabetes. The Local Government Association (LGA) who is responsible for tackling obesity through its ‘Obesity Action Fund’ believes that when £5 billion is currently being used to treat obesity, money should be no obstacle in the fight against obesity. The LGA affirmed that the money taken from junk food taxes "would be a massive boost in the battle to combat obesity. It would help tackle head-on the crippling problems often associated with the condition, like diabetes."

Manifesto To Combat Obesity

When the junk food sector spends an extortionate amount on advertising, it makes logical sense to reinvest some of the taxes into tackling the devastating consequences of obesity. Whether this will work in practice is another issue. The worst scenario is, is a vicious cycle where no real solution is found.

The LGA seem to be determined and unapologetic about its manifesto to stop obesity. The group said, "Our pioneering plans represent a bold, radical and innovative approach to tackling the obesity crisis, which is costing the country £5 billion a year. By taking a slice of existing VAT we would raise millions which would help transform the lives and futures of obese and overweight people - including the country's three and half million children - rather than simply swelling the Treasury's coffers."