Recently PUP’s senator Glen Lazarus, former Rugby League player and superstar, during his maiden speech to parliament, suggested that Australia needs to implement ‘tax incentives’ to combat obesity. “While respected for our love of sport, Australia is today ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world. Integrated awareness, education and assistance campaigns are needed to support the community to change,” Senator Lazarus said. He then called for tax incentives, concessions and assistance campaigns to help the community change its attitudes towards eating healthier.
This is not the first time a tax on junk food has been suggested; there have been many calls over the more recent years for a tax to target food from places like McDonalds, Hungry jacks, KFC etc… Australia has really climbed the ranks for obesity levels and is now one of the fattest countries in the world, with 2 out of 3 adults being classified as overweight or obese.
In 2011 Denmark introduced a Fat Tax to limit the population’s intakes of fatty foods. However, by November 2012 in was abolished due to extreme unpopularity and numerous complaints. The Danish tax had been applied to all products with over 2.3% saturated fat, including milk, butter and cheese.
The question becomes, is a tax the solution or is there another way? What is the solution to the obesity issue? In reality it comes down to the individual, I mean are we now in a society where we tell people they must eat this and not that? Is freedom under threat? What solution can you think of for the obesity problem in this country?