This week, is sugar the enemy? Difficult as it is to digest, one person in every four in the UK is obese, and treating the condition as well as its knock-on effects, costs the health service £5.1 billion per year. Some say sugar is to blame, but is it the only guilty party? Plus, in the news, pigeons detecting cancer, half of museum specimens might be mislabelled, and how science journals are being hacked...
It makes almost as much sense as taxing salt, butter, saccharine, margarine, or any of the other once-fashionable food scares. Taxing cigarettes and alcohol has almost no longterm effect on consumption. The way to save public money is not to treat voluntary illnesses like lung cancer, obesity, drug addiction...at public expense. Problem is that this is the thin end of a wedge: should we treat sports injuries for free? Why not make employers wholly responsible for the cost of occupational accidents and diseases? The earning potential for lawyers is enormous!
A tax on sugar not only taxes the obese, but it also taxes those with a healthy sense of dietary balance. If the goal was to address obesity, skinny people should not have to pay a sugar tax, since they are not obese.