Anorak News | Fat Taxes Could Saves Lives

Fat Taxes Could Saves Lives

by | 12th, July 2007

jamie-oliver.pngHAVE you seen Jamie Oliver recently? The self-styled champion of healthy eating looks to have put on rather a few pounds himself. I wonder if his mother is feeding him burgers and chips through the railings outside his restaurant?

Anyway, while the face of supermarket giant Sainsbury’s took his fight to school kitchens, a new report by Oxford researchers suggests that if VAT was slapped on fatty foods, more than 3,000 fatal heart attacks and strokes could be prevented in the UK each year.

The study, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, claims that a 17.5 per cent rise on fatty, sugary or salty foods would decrease the number of heart and stroke fatalities by 1.7 per cent, with the researchers saying that the time is now right to debate the introduction of a “fat tax”.

The boffins, from the Department of Public Health at Oxford University, used economic data to work out how demand would fall after the price of unhealthy foods increased, and which foods people might turn to instead. They then used the results to predict the health benefits the population would enjoy as a result.

However, Maura Gillespie of the British Heart Foundation remains unconvinced. Says she: “The debate on unhealthy diets is important as it is estimated that 30% of deaths from coronary heart disease are caused by unhealthy diets. Further evidence is needed on the effect of targeted food taxes before we can support a fat tax.”

With Jamie Oliver’s healthy school dinners crusade back-firing badly, surely the Government could at least slap a tax on the chubby-cheeky-chappy Mockney if he ever appears on our screens again?

Posted: 12th, July 2007 | In: Money Comments (5) | TrackBack | Permalink