If the world’s leaders want to tackle the problem, they will have to abandon some of the central principles of their economic credo. A market totally free of regulation and liability is no longer sustainable. It is annihilating the environment and now ruining public health. Most of the costs of the health services are borne by ordinary taxpayers. We need test cases of obese people taking food manufacturers to court, following the example of ill smokers who took class action against cigarette makers and sellers.Well, I for one can’t wait to see some landwhale try that one in court...!
*orders full-fat popcorn with extra sugar*
The obesity epidemic cries out for more regulation of food products. It is good that UK supermarkets have started to use traffic-light labels to help shoppers see what they are actually buying. But restaurants, part of a booming industry, have no such obligations. They must be brought in line. Every menu should tell you how much fat and how many carbs and calories each dish contains.Oh, good grief! And she’s just getting started…
We could go further. All recipe books should be made to have these figures. I recently found one published by Which? magazine in a second-hand bookshop. It has changed how I eat and cook. Did you know that nutritious minestrone soup made with fresh vegetables and with brown pasta is really low in calories?Yes. Of course. Actually, I think there are creatures living at the bottom of abyssal trenches that probably know that.
Two other measures for national and local governments to consider: ban food ads for children and use the planning laws to make sure our high streets have fewer food outlets. In our small parade all but two shops sell food. Children walk past after school and dive in like seabirds after a glut of fish. They are already addicts and many of them will join the swell of obesity.Food ‘addicts’. *rolls eyes* Now I’ve seen it all.
For their sakes and the overburdened NHS, leaders must now take action. Capitalism needs to be civic and responsible. Is that too much to ask?You don’t want ‘leaders’, Yasmin. You want benevolent dictators.