Jonathan Waxman The Fat Taxman
So should the State dictate how many sausage butties I have for breakfast? Should the Health Minister be e-mailing me about my five-a-day broccoli and bananas? Yes and yes. Because my “freedom” has repercussions, not just on my health but on the rest of us. Private lifestyle choices have a tremendous effect on the public purse.
Not only do we need to ramp up the public health campaigns that encourage us to ditch the doughnuts. But we will have to go further and ban adverts for high-fat foods. It is wrong that manufacturers can produce mayonnaise with a 70 per cent fat content, so we should tax food laden with saturated fats.
Some will argue that this is an affront to personal freedom. But the people with the least ability to make informed choices are the poor, who happen also to be more likely to smoke or be fat. Food is a class issue and it must be made easier for the poorest in our country to eat well.
So let the State intervene and let us all take responsibility too. Be thinner, be healthier and maybe you will be happier in your later years.
Jonathan Waxman is Flow Foundation Professor of Oncology at Imperial College London and author of The Elephant in the Room
Happier if Waxman and his ilk constantly lecture, tax and ban?
I don't think so.