I see that leading Stuff today is an article on New Zealand’s “obesity epidemic”, and how we must changes some things because we are “killing ourselves”. The policy suggestions are:
In a report published today, the association calls for drastic cures for the bulge, including taxing or minimum prices for sugary drinks, restricting food advertising aimed at children, and taking fast food out of schools.
I’ll be honest, I can see a reasonable justification for everything except the minimum price. I can see a good justification for changing policies around children, based on habit formation. This isn’t the point. The point I’m touching on involves the inappropriateness of quotes like this:
Otago University health researcher Professor Jim Mann said he supported the report’s recommendations, particularly a fizzy drink tax. Kiwis were becoming so big that they were almost blind to obesity. “Parents can’t even identify when their children are overweight or obese. Obesity is fast becoming normal.”
New Zealand’s poverty rates, particularly among children, and cheap access to fatty tasty foods were largely to blame, as was a lack of political will. “There is this obsession with the nanny state, that we shouldn’t be telling people what to do.”