A poll of around 1,000 slimmers reveals that the majority would support a junk food tax – if the money raised was used to subsidise the cost of healthy foods, like fruit and vegetables, to make them more affordable.
The poll was conducted by Slimming World on its Facebook fan page following the presentation of a series of reports by The Lancet that predict around half of people will have an obese BMI by 2030. The authors of the reports blame aggressive advertising and lobbying by the food industry for the rise in the number of people who are overweight, proposing a tax on junk food to reverse the trend.
Out of nearly 1,000 people who took part in the poll, 48 per cent supported the idea of introducing a junk food tax. And, in a related poll, when asked if they would support a junk food tax if the money was used to subsidise the cost of healthy food, support jumped to 90 per cent.
“Taxing junk food would only help if the money was used to subsidise healthier food,” said one slimmer. “Otherwise all it would do is make shopping even more expensive for the people who can least afford it.”
Another said, “Most foods that are on offer in the supermarket are high calorie convenience foods. It’s never fruit and vegetables. Simply taxing high calorie foods won’t stop people using them. We need to find ways to encourage people to eat healthily, rather than just discourage them from having junk food.”
Liz Torrie, a Slimming World Consultant who runs two Slimming World groups in Ipswich, says, “Every week members at my groups come to get the support and help they need to make healthy lifestyle changes. They share ideas about shopping, cooking and eating more healthily – so our slimmers are more aware than most about what goes into their shopping baskets.
“We also share ideas about becoming more active and navigating the everyday situations and circumstances that can make losing weight difficult. Like how drinking alcohol can affect weight and your motivation to lose weight.
“It’s clear from this poll that finding ways of making healthy filling foods like fruit and vegetables, pasta, potatoes, rice, lean meat and fish – all of which can be eaten in unlimited amounts at Slimming World – more affordable for the average shopper would be hugely supported by our members as a way to encourage healthier lifestyles,” says Liz
• For more information about Slimming World and how attending a Slimming World class can help you to achieve your weight loss goals contact Slimming World consultant, Liz Torrie on 01473 728380